Buy a bottle of wine from South Africa or Lebanon to help the hardest hit producers

Covid-induced export bans and and the devastating Beirut explosion have brought the wine industry in these two countries to the brink of collapse. Time to do your bit…

It has not been a vintage year for wine producers anywhere. According to an official report from the European Commission, the near-global shutdown of bars and restaurants in the spring meant Europe’s wine industry was among the hardest hit of all the continent’s agricultural sectors when Covid-19 struck. Producers in the US and Australia have had to cope with similar sales-sapping problems during the pandemic, while still struggling with the fallout from vineyard-ravaging wildfires. It’s the winemakers of South Africa and Lebanon who will be most anxious to see the back of 2020 – and who have had to grapple with the most challenging conditions.

In the Cape, the wine industry has been left reeling by the severity of the lockdown measures taken by the South African government as it struggled to deal with Africa’s worst outbreak of coronavirus. Domestic sales of alcohol were banned from March until June, and again from mid-July to mid-August, in a bid to alleviate the stress on the country’s struggling health sector.

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