Malcolm Jolley talks to Wines of South Africa CEO Siobhan Thompson…

If you’ve been reading and watching the videos at GFR over the past year, you know the South African wine industry has had a particularly hard pandemic from a regulatory or lockdown point of view. At points in 2020, it faced not only a total alcohol ban that shut down their domestic trade, but also an export ban that forbade them from shipping wine to international markets. Even as the present wave of pandemic spreads around the world, the worst at least in economic terms for South African producers seems to be over. One sign of this is the upcoming Wines of South Africa Insider Sessions with Jancis Robinson MW, Tim Atkins MW and Job de Swart MW, which GFR promoted last week. When WOSA’s Canadian representative, Laurel Keenan, sent me the materials for the free webinars, I asked her if WOSA CEO Siobhan Thompson would be available for a Zoom interview to get her perspective on how the last year has affected the wine trade in South Africa, and how things look going forward. Her answers to my questions sometimes surprised me, and reminded me how unique South African wines and the people who make them are. Watch the video below to see us in conversation.

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Find out more about WOSA and the Insider Sessions at