Nelson Mandela’s daughter and granddaughter have embarked on a new project – the House of Mandela wine company which launched last week in the US.
Mandela’s granddaughter, Tukwini Mandela says “The wine movement is growing, more and more people are experimenting with wine beyond spirit drinks. And there’s a large segment of the black community who is interested in wine now.”
The success of local shows such as the Soweto Wine Festival and the Gugulethu Wine Festival suggests that she is right, and linking SA’s most famous statesman’s name to the brand certainly won’t do it any harm.
But a look at the website suggests this is not an exercise in opportunism and ‘cashing in on the name’ by Tukwini and Mandela’s daughter, Makaziwe.
Empowering black Africans in the wine trade
The website cites the rich agricultural heritage of the abaThembu people, as well as the strong community roots which so benefitted Nelson Mandela on his political journey both in SA and overseas, and talks about the importance of wine to the South African economy, as well as the sad lack of engagement and empowerment of black Africans in the wine trade today – something it is hoped The House of Mandela can help to change.
The wines are all Fairtrade accredited and a percentage of the profits will be ploughed back into charitable works, in particular, supporting people from previously-disadvantaged backgrounds through winemaking or viticultural studies.
There are three ranges of wines – Royal Reserve, Thembu Collection and the Sparkling wine – all made by three of SA’s top wine farms. Thelema, Hartenberg and Fairview are the farms chosen to partner the Mandela family in this project, bringing many years of experience to the fore.