New online store offers boutique wines at great prices

Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) has launched a new online shop, called The Wine Farmer, which promises South Africans family farm wines at “cellar door prices”.

The Wine Farmer currently lists the products of 10 wine farms on the website, with more farms to be added in the coming weeks.

SAAI chairman Theo de Jager said the new shop was launched to assist wine farms which are struggling as a result of the ban on wine sales during the lockdown.

De Jager said the lockdown and subsequent loss in sales have caused huge wine surpluses in the country.

“For 20 weeks the wine farmers could not sell their products. When the market was opened again it was mostly the larger groups which had access to the markets,” he said.

Family farmers, however, were still in dire straits. The problem was that they could not sell the wine they already had, and then received letters from cooperative sellers that they would also not have quotas for next year.

We estimate that there is currently a surplus of around 4 million litres of wine in South Africa – more than the country’s total consumption.

This has prompted SAAI to launch The Wine Farmer to help small family farms to directly sell their wines to South African consumers.

“We make sure the farmer gets exactly what they would sell their product for at their own cellar,” said De Jager.

SAAI therefore subsidises the transport and the warehousing to ship these wines to larger towns and cities in South Africa.

This, De Jager said, means that shoppers will get these wines for far cheaper than what they will pay at a retail outlet.

The Wine Farmer’s prices compared

To put De Jager’s pricing claims to the test, MyBroadband compared The Wine Farmer’s prices with that of retail stores.

In most cases, The Wine Farmer’s prices were lower than competing online platforms, as De Jager said.

The table below provides an overview of the prices of various wines which are currently available through The Wine Farmer.

Marianne Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Shop Price
The Wine Farmer R220.00
Wine Column R210.00 R250.00
Meticulous Sauvignon Blanc 2017
The Wine Farmer R220.00
Wine Menu R257.00
Wine Village R256.00
Akkerdal Malbec 2015
The Wine Farmer R125.00
La Cotte R165.00

Theo de Jager interview

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New online store offers boutique wines at great prices