newsEngineering News reports that 2020 wine grape crop will still yield exceptional wines despite uncertainty at first considering SA’s lockdown practices, according to industry body Vinpro.  

The industry is harvesting the last few thousand tonnes of crops across ten wine regions in the country, owing to a last-minute concession from government for the industry to continue harvesting and winemaking activities during the lockdown.  When the government published its Covid-19 lockdown regulations on 25 March, at first all wine industry activities were prohibited, including the production, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages for the duration of the lockdown.  Through advocacy by various industry bodies, government then made a concession just hours before midnight on 26 March, when the lockdown started, that harvesting and storage activities could continue so as to prevent the wastage of primary agricultural goods.  Yet with local sales, exports and distribution of alcoholic beverages still being prohibited, it will have a significant effect on the survival of the SA wine industry and, therefore, the livelihoods of the nearly 300,000 people employed by the value chain.  Around half of SA’s wine production is exported.

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