Malu Lambert catches up with the managing director of Black Elephant Vintners, Kevin Swart (left) to see how The Misfits Of The Wine Industry, The Rebels Of The Vine are faring after the lifting of the second alcohol ban in South Africa.
The “black” in Black Elephant, Kevin Swart (swart means black in Afrikaans)got into the wine industry after having become disillusioned with the financial markets, says Kevin: “it seemed real to be dealing with nature and making something that you could touch and feel, not to mention taste.”
What are the realities of the lifting of the booze ban?
On the day, we made sure all our deliveries were ready to go first thing. With the ban on sales from Friday to Sunday it puts our tasting room out of commission for weekend tourists, which is disappointing. We will celebrate when things return back to normal. At the moment we are making the best of the situation.
Your strangest/funniest/most challenging lockdown moment?
Every time one of the ministers spoke it was strange, funny and challenging at the same time.
On a more serious note – what do you foresee as the longterm consequences and what do you want an international audience to know?
The SA wine industry is going to be a challenge. It appears a large portion of the current government wants to ban alcohol. We don’t see ourselves as alcohol producers but as farmers and creators of experiences, memories while also tending the land so that it lasts for generations to come. We think the law is going to change permanently, to something along the lines of the currently restrictions. International trade is going to be a lifeline for producers.
What wines can the UK look forward to coming from the BEV stable?
We will be adding a Rosé MCC to our range in the coming months as well as some more in our line-up of cans.
What’s new at BEV? What are you working on?
The digital revolution is here in full force so we are hoping to launch our app shortly as well as re-launch out Rebel of the Vines Club
What’s currently happening in your vineyards?
The vines are sleeping and we are doing our best not to disturb them. Plenty of rain and cold days, so fingers crossed.
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