Pandemic and Pinotage - Corona diaries in the cellar

Just when we thought four consecutive years of drought was rough … A behemoth of a challenge has confronted the wine industry. The coronavirus has rocked the world and no region, sector or grouping will be spared of its direct or indirect consequences.

At L’Avenir, the entire team prides itself on a family-like essence. It’s in our nature to welcome visitors with open arms. We don’t just shake hands – we hug, kiss and cherish (it must be the French influence). Our newsletter even features a section called “Home away from home”, because so many clients, partners and visitors have experienced L’Avenir as such.

Now, The L’Avenir Cellardoor is temporarily closed, to protect our staff and visitors.  Our home away from home is quiet, without the usual hustle, bustle and popping of corks. The winemaking team is still working in full force. In fact, they picked the last grapes of the 2020 vintage yesterday. But the usual embrace on the celebratory group picture was replaced by an awkward meter distance between team members that have done up to 20 vintages together. Fist bumps don’t come as naturally as high-fives between cellar brothers. Things have certainly changed.

L’Avenir means “The Future” in French and our team has, in these strange times, again adopted a future-orientated approach. This time, however, it does not relate to which grapes we plant, or which technologies of innovations we are going to invest in. It’s about sharing hope that this too shall pass and that we need to spread hope and courage until we can again raise our glasses together in social embrace, instead of distance.

Instead of inviting everyone to our home away from home, we are hoping that our wines crack an invite into your home, with door to door wine delivery country wide. We are also going to share more videos, more pictures and more this stories through this blog. Lastly, we are sharing the love by supporting the region’s modern superheroes – the doctors – with some Pinotage (more details to follow in tomorrow’s blog post).

We encourage you to also share your stories. It’s through sharing that the discipline of isolation becomes more bearable. And through sharing that we will make it through and bounce back. Stronger.

Dr Edo Heyns – Advini Strategic Development Director

Winemaker Dirk Coetzee and vineyard manager, Leigh Diedericks, at the start of the 2020 season – when hugs were still allowed!