In 1989 it was in the main concourse of The Workshop shopping complex, then a new and vibrant adjunct to the old station in Durban’s CBD.
It was described by former Mercury wine and food writer Anne Stevens thus: “This year’s Natal Mercury Wine Week will be bigger and better than ever.
“Wines from around 90 estates and co-operatives will be available for tasting. “Tickets at R15 for Monday to Thursday, and R18 for Friday, are on sale now at Computicket outlets. The entrance fee entitles you to a tasting glass and the chance of sampling the best of the country’s wine crop, including:
* Nederburg special auction wines.
* The Bergkelder, with 30 wines on show.
* Douglas Green, of Paarl, offering its range for tasting, from the light-bodied premier rouge to the rich, complex cabernet. “For the first time five Woolworths wines will be on show. In addition, the vignerons of Franschhoek, members of the Paarl and Stellenbosch wine routes, the Stellenbosch independents, the winemakers of Worcester, Contantia, Robertson, the Coastal Region, Swartland and Walker Bay will all be there. Make sure you are too!”
Editorial comment in The Mercury at the time of the 1989 Wine Week reflected the growing taste in KwaZulu-Natal for the ambrosia of the gods:
“KwaZulu-Natal has long been a place of braaivleis, sunny skies and beer! Nowadays, however, we are told by people in the know, things are changing. “Wine appreciation is part of the KZN cultural scene and at parties you are as likely to find people sipping a delicate white or a robust red as drinking beer or spirits.
“Obviously The Mercury would like to be able to say that our own Wine Week had something to do with the transformation, but modesty forbids us going so far.”