A call from Deep Throat on the wrong side of the mountain throws further light on the Swedish Scandal. For slow learners, SA wine exports to Italy have increased faster than Silvio Berlusconi has his wrinkles botoxed. They’re up from 255,390 litres last year to over 21 million litres this. It’s all off to Sweden. Seems that outgoing WOSA CEO Su Birch persuaded Swedish liquor monopoly Systemblowyournose to insist that wines destined for the land of Björn Borg and ABBA be WIETA accredited. Of course no other country need supply ethically traded wine, especially not Italy. Bulk wine leaves SA for Italy which has had a couple of disastrous vintages in a row, is sweetened up and re-exported to Sweden. Hard to imagine this happening in Italy but Deep Throat swears its true.
So it’s déjà vu all over again and the merry old sanctions busting days of yore when KWV was run by groot kannone from Denel specializing in breaking European laws and making a few bar for themselves in the process. If this is true, how ironic then that WIETA, the ethical trading initiative put in place to help the poor end of SA wine is having the reverse effect. The industry needs urgently to stir its stumps and investigate the matter for it is beyond shocking.
What are the WOSA board doing about this? What is Vinpro’s position? Should WIETA be closed down before brand SA becomes a bulk category? Has WOSA succeeded in destroying SA fine wine after 13 years of trying?