L'Avenir Lockdown Diaries - Day 4
Lockdown. It’s a hard and scary word. The national lockdown, announced by President Ramaphosa last week, was widely praised as a brave and noble decision, but has nonetheless pushed South African families, businesses and industries into unchartered waters.
From a wine industry perspective, exports as well as local sales stopped as abruptly as group hugs. It’s no wonder that wine sales shot through the roof three days before the lockdown, when many wine fanatics were gobsmacked that wine was indeed not regarded as essential by the South African government.
The L’Avenir team is working closely with the wine industry body, Vinpro, the French Embassy, French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI), as well as prominent clients and partners across the globe to lobby with the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to allow wine exports to commence again. The reality is that other wine producing countries are continuing to export and most wine markets are still enjoying wines. If South Africa does not start exporting again, the result could be catastrophic, with job losses, lost market share and lost revenue for wine producers and government alike.
L’Avenir is part of the leading French wine company, Advini. This means that we have the benefit of learning from the proverbial mother ship in France, which has already braced the unchartered waters. Not a single Advini employee (and there are more than 1 000) has been infected. With the right precautions and strict discipline, the spreading of the coronavirus can indeed be prevented, while exports happily resume.
Back home, the wine industry is again showing its resolve and diligence by creatively engaging with wine drinkers through online tastings, wine discussions, food pairings and, importantly, fun. Because wine is all about senses and because people in the wine game are particularly social and engaging, social distancing was always going to be a challenge.
It’s interesting how many wine drinkers now have the time to explore what they have in their cellars, but don’t want to open the gems they discover, because wine is essentially about sharing. Luckily, wine also rewards patience and some further cellaring could not do much harm, until these treasured can be opened, shared and enjoyed with deepened appreciation.
Until then, we have the opportunity to learn to engage with wine in new, creative and inspiring ways. At L’Avenir, we are using the #LAvenirLockdown campaign to discover how L’Avenir’s wines are helping people across the globe cope with isolation and lockdown measures. Check out our social media pages to see how our Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Winemaker are staying fit with a #WineWorkout.
“Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or the willingness to learn.” – Charlie Sheen
There’s never been a better time to learn.
Dr Edo Heyns, Advini South Africa Strategic Development Manager