The sale of South African wines in Denmark has taken a knock after some Danish retailers removed wine produced at some of SA’s top wine farms because of a documentary that aired there last week. The documentary called Bitter Grapes – Slavery in the Vineyards shows the conditions of farm workers at several Cape wine farms and highlights claims of below minimum wage salaries, exposure to toxic pesticides and poor living conditions. It was made by award winning Danish director, Tom Heinemann and is described as “a critical investigative documentary about the South African wine industry”.
You can see the documentary HERE, but it’s in Danish apart from the interviews with SA farm workers and secret camera footage at the wine estates they visited.
The full English transcript is HERE.
The SA wine industry has responded and was critical of the documentary.
“Robertson Winery labelled the documentary as a “one-sided picture of a very complex situation”. The film was “doing more harm than good, risking valuable jobs by wrong accusations”, it said in a statement.
“That three out of 3,300 farms would be representative of the wine industry is unreasonable.”
Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde said the department would investigate the documentary’s allegations.
VinPro, a mouthpiece for the farm owners and producers, criticised in the film, saying much “progress has already been made in terms of the conditions of farmworkers”. It called the film biased.” [Times Live]
Will post the English version of the doccie if it becomes available.