February – SA wines’ month-long birthday celebration


FEBRUARY sees South Africa celebrating the official birthday of our wine industry, and wine lovers the world over will agree that this is an occasion to raise a glass and say cheers.

2023 marks 364 years since the first wine was made from Cape grapes. To honour this momentous event, South African wine producers, wine lovers, social sippers, connoisseurs, and collectors countrywide come together and pay tribute to South Africa’s rich wine heritage.

Among the celebrations that take place in February is the annual Wine Harvest Commemorative Event, which was hosted at South Africa’s oldest wine-producing farm, Groot Constantia earlier this month. This is where the wine industry pays tribute to individuals and organisations for their exceptional contribution to the ongoing journey and future success of South African wine. Thanks to these role players and those they support, SA wine lovers can enjoy a proliferation of the best wines in the world.

Over the years, many greats have been recognised, including Nelson Mandela. In 2023, added to the list of outstanding leaders were:

  • Ken Forrester (pictured), recipient of the 1659 Award for Visionary Leadership.
  • Rydal Jeftha, recipient of the Growing Inclusivity Award.
  • Wendy Jonker, recipient of the Wine Advancement Award.
  • Dr Erna Blancquaert, recipient of the Viti- and Viniculture Award.

The Wine Harvest Commemorative Event is also the time when the new South African harvest is blessed – a special tradition that is honoured worldwide.

But the wine celebrations don’t end there. February also sees other highlights for wine lovers, such as International Syrah Day (February 16), followed by Global Drink Wine Day (18 February) and Open That Bottle Night (25 February) – a multitude of reasons to savour our outstanding South African wines and appreciate those who work tirelessly to make the South African wine industry so successful.

For more information on the Wine Harvest Commemorative Event, the honourees, and the South African wine industry, click here. Share your special celebratory events of the SA Wine Birthday on social media with @sawineharvest using the hashtag #HappyBirthdaySAwine.

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