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We launched the Michael Fridjhon Wine Experience® in 1997 with the avowed aim of ensuring that, at least once a year, wine enthusiasts in South Africa would get a chance to sample the world's best bottles. Since then the price of international icon wines – in hard currency terms – has increased at least tenfold, while the Rand has lost at least 75% of its value. Initially we were able to keep going through the generosity of corporate sponsors. However, even the deep pockets of the companies which supported the event could not bridge the ever-widening gap between what it cost to provide world-class benchmark wines, and what the market would bear. In 2017, we decided it was better to call it a day than to dilute the principle upon which the Wine Experience® was based.