Naked Wines reveals campaign to support South African winemakers

Naked Wines is launching a one-off fundraising campaign from tomorrow (Thursday August 13) to raise £225,220 for South African winemakers affected by one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

The initiative forms part of the company’s efforts to support winemakers affected by the global impact of Covid-19, including its recently announced $5 million Covid-19 Support Fund, which helps winemakers affected by the temporary closure of bars and restaurants due to Covid-19.

The South Africa’s wine industry has already seen huge job losses, and tens of thousands more jobs are reportedly at stake. It is estimated that the wine industry alone has already suffered direct losses of £142 million already (VinPro data).

On Thursday, Naked Wines is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support struggling winemakers affected by the strict lockdown measures in South Africa. They have chosen six “talented and deserving” winemakers to support. These are:

• Arco Laarman, a 17-year winemaker of Glen Carlou
• Carsten Migliarina, former Sommelier at London’s Le Pont de la Tour turned boutique winemaker, making small-scale, top-quality wines in the Western Cape
• Cerina van Niekerk, a talented female winemaker working with rare bush vines on South Africa’s West Coast
• Lourens van der Westhuizen, a fifth-generation winemaker from a small, family-run winery, specialising in single vineyard wines
• Rudi Schulz, said to be one of South Africa’s hottest up-and coming winemaking talents
• Richard Kershaw, former Chief Winemaker at Mulderbosch winery in Stellenbosch, who has been making exclusive wines for Naked’s Angel customers for the past nine years

The pre-orders from Naked Wines customers will allow these winemakers to reinvest directly in next year’s wine production with confidence, rather than spend time and money selling their unsold wine.

In return for their support, customers will save 26% on 12 bottles from a group of talented South African artisans. The 12 bottles comprise:
One Focal Point Chardonnay 2018 and one Focal Point Chenin Blanc 2019 from Arco Laarman; two Arendsig Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Blok A9 2018 from Lourens van der Westhuizen; two Parquet Stellenbosch Red 2019 from Carsten Migliarina; one The Smugglers Boot Pinot Noir 2017 from Richard Kershaw; one Cecilia Shiraz 2019 and one Windband Pastiche Rose 2020 from Cerina van Niekerk; and three North Beach Sauvignon Blanc 2020 from Rudi Schultz.

This rescue deal is the sixth to come out of Naked’s $5 million Covid Support Fund, and the second to support South African winemakers. In July, 1,800 Angels raised £124,938 to help winemaker Reenen Borman from the Boschkloof estate, on the edge of Stellenbosch.

To date, more than 11,000 Naked Wines customers in the UK have raised almost £1 million to help 31 winemakers impacted by Covid-19 around the world.

The deal will go live on Thursday 13th August here: www.nakedwines.com/marketplace

Arco Laarman, Winemaker, says: “It is just astounding to hear and see the impact that Covid had on so many people and their livelihood. I am only one small business owner from South Africa, and this had a devastating effect on my family. But thanks to you guys, we got a second chance this year, and things are looking much more promising now. As a result of your help, I can continue living my dream of making wines and supporting my family through this! Thank you!”

Eamon FitzGerald, Global Wine Director, added “I’ve heard from countless winemakers about their struggles following the domestic alcohol ban in South Africa. Given our unique platform and passionate customer base, it feels right to launch this initiative to help the South African wine industry. The best way we can support them is by buying and drinking their wines. In return for their support, our customers will get a great deal on a case of South African hidden gem wines from six talented winemakers.”

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