Interesting how a glass of wine can take you back. Take you from Hermanus to Stellenbosch. From 2019 to 1959. A whopping 60 years later and still there is one local wine brand that is remembered for its unequalled worldwide sales. Lieberstein.
At a 2019 Hermanus FynArts Wine+ tasting Master of Wine Cathy van Zyl’s insightful discussion on the intrinsic delights of wine triggered ex-Lievland owner and Cape Wine Master Paul Benade’s memories of the successful semi-sweet table wine masterminded by Stellenbosch Farmers Winery. A semi-sweet that changed South Africans’ drinking habits from the minute of introduction in 1959. It was the time of Lieberstein.
Five years after the launch, Lieberstein broke sales records in 1964 by shipping 31 million liters of golden juice. These sales statistics pushed the brand into becoming the world’s largest selling bottled wine of its time. Never before and never again did South Africa do so well with wine. Success certainly tasted semisweet way back then!