Women power in the wine industry

A voyage of discovery into the wine industry proves wine and women are an excellent match. Three female wine entrepreneurs prove how.

by: Flagstone Winery | 13 Jun 2007

A new joint venture entered into by Flagstone proprietor and winemaker, Bruce Jack and three female wine entrepreneurs, are proving to be a runaway success.

Launched last year, Ses'fikile which in isiXhosa means 'we have arrived', is owned by three black women, two of whom are school teachers at high schools in Khayelitsha. Bruce Jack of Flagstone Winery describes the three as "a powerhouse of women".

The trio
Hailing from Cape Town Nondumiso Pikahse, Jackie Mayo, and Nomvuyo Xaliphi have accomplished great strides in an industry that they knew very little about to begin with.

"We knew very little about the subject of alcohol and wine as we had only been exposed to its negative aspects. The only wines available in the shebeens and bottle stores were of an inferior quality," explains Mayo.

The three women approached The Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi) for support, and attended workshops, wine tastings, seminars and tours and by the end of 2004 were able to register their brand name, Ses’fikile.

Finding the right partner and supplier for their business proved to a trial and error process. Having literally knocked on every door they could think of, they finally crossed paths with fellow entrepreneur and winemaker, Bruce Jack of Flagstone Winery based in Somerset-West.

The success
And so it has – since its launch in August last year, Ses’fikile has accomplished achievements far beyond their expectations including being approached to serve their wine range at the High Commissioners dinner as well as the 2010 FIFA dinner.

The brand has also recently secured national listings at Makro and Pick ‘n Pay stores, while Picardi Rebel have strongly supported the brand in the Western Cape. Internationally the brand is shortly to be launch in Marks & Spencer in the UK.

The Ses’fikile range consists of three families, the discovery level "Rain Song", and the exploration range "Folklore", and the premium brand called "The Matriarch", in honour of strong women everywhere.

* Image: From left Nomvuyo Xaliphi, Nondumiso Pikahse and Jackie Mayo

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