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The "Kooperatiewe Wijnbowers Vereniging van Zuid Afrika" was founded in 1918 as the central winegrowers' cooperative in South Africa, 95% of the winegrowers joined. The reason for the foundation was a major crisis in South African viticulture, which was characterised by surplus production and the bankruptcies of many winegrowers. For a long time, the famous professor Abraham Isak Perold (1880-1941) worked for the KWV as a viticulture expert. Until 1992, participation was only possible for white members. Production restrictions and annual minimum prices for fortified wines were set

In 1940, the government gave the entire control of the wine sector to the KWV, thus extensively expanding its agendas. This included the determination of permissible yields, planting, plant rights and vinification, permission for the planting of new vineyards, the free utilisation of surpluses and (also binding on KWV non-members) the entire trade or export of wine and wine spirits. The tasks were research, vine propagation, marketing campaigns, consulting, professional training, as well as the administration of the "Wine of Origin" appellation system

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