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Many growers gave up on winemaking, and instead chose to plant orchards and alfalfa fields to feed the growing ostrich feather industry.
Started as a co-operative, the KWV soon grew in power and prominence eventually setting policies and prices for the entire South African wine industry.
To deal with the wine glut, the KWV restricted yields and set minimum prices that encouraged the production of brandy and fortified wines.
Vineyard owners and wineries who had previously relied on the price-fixing structure that bought their excess grapes for distillation were forced to become more competitive by shifting their focus to the production of quality wine.
In 1990, less than 30% of all the grapes harvested were used for wine production meant for the consumer market with the remaining 70% being discarded, distilled into brandy, or sold as table grapes and juice.