#wineforgood: The Cape Wine Auction Trustees, wineland superheroes

Tuesday, 9 April, 2019
What do real life superheroes do? Make wine, of course. The South African wine industry has a shadowed past, but great efforts are being made to right the wrongs and uplift the lives of the individuals working in our winelands. One of the biggest success stories has been the Cape Wine Auction, which has to date raised a massive R90 million, transforming education in the winelands.

Meet the team behind the biggest bash that raises the most cash for charity

Ndlovu means elephant, serving as inspiration for the 'Elephant' part of Raymond Ndlovu's wine business, Black Elephant Vintners. Elephants are known to be gentle giants, with Raymond being somewhat of a giant in the financial services industry, he has thrown his full-weight into making an even greater success of the Cape Wine Auction which has already seen 2308 learners attending After School programmes assisting them with homework and providing them with a healthy meal, 131 teachers getting Staff Development and Training and feeding 5968 learners every school day among other valuable contributions aimed at addressing the massive backlog in education in the South African winelands.

At the 2019 Cape Wine Auction it was announced that Raymond would take over the reigns as chairperson of the Trustees from Wendy Appelbaum.

Says Ndlovu: “I stand on the shoulders of a giant and we all owe a debt of gratitude to auction founder Mike Ratcliffe and the founding trustees. We have made, and will continue to make, a huge impact. We are currently facing tough economic times but we continue to change outcomes for our future.”


Wendy Appelbaum has always made it clear that being rich comes with the responsibility of giving back to society. Appelbaum remains a Trustee and valuable asset to the Trust with her "strategic philanthropy". 

"Money alone doesn’t solve problems. I don’t believe in the kind of giving that can only be termed “charity.”… I believe in tackling major societal problems and funding initiatives that stand a chance of effecting real change and real improvement in people’s lives.” In 2003 Wendy bought the De Morgenzon wine farm, one of the top wine farms in the country and forming a connection with the wine industry. Wendy has given generously to the people of the winelands she now calls home by serving as chairperson of the Cape Wine Auction Trust for the past few years.


One of the most innovative winemakers in the country, Mike Ratcliffe , saw the urgent need to transform the education system in the winelands. Original founder of the Auction, Mike was inspired by the Auction Napa Valley, a wine auction with the mandate of subsidising health costs. 

What sets the Cape Wine Auction apart is the fact that there is absolutely no deduction from monies raised at the auction. Mike believes that South Africans are inherently generous, tapping into that generosity to change lives. "Our target is to make a difference. We hope to challenge expectations, break down barriers and unite an industry along a philanthropic path."

Paul Cluver, Mike Ratcliffe and Raymond Ndlovu

Paul Cluver grew up in a family driven for change. With Paul Cluver Wines as a founding member of Thandi, one of the first BEE farms in South Africa and the first Fairtrade wine brand in the world, Paul has found his philanthropic foothold at the Cape Wine Auction, giving back to the industry he is part of, just like his father, Paul Cluver senior.


Iain Banner is the co-founder of a number of successful companies, events and charities, including Sports International, the Gary Player Design Company, the Laureus World Sport Awards and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Banner joined the Board of Trustees in 2018 saying: "I am honoured and excited to be joining this group of hard-working people who have passion and energy and think creatively and innovatively to effect real change in the lives of those who live and work in the winelands.”

A man who will walk a 1000 miles for charity, Ken Kinsey-Quick has hiked to the South Pole to raise money for the ARK Charity. Ken was one of the founding members of the Trust in 2014. He earned a B.Com from the University of Cape Town and has extensive experience in hedge funds with an established track record. Ken is a C.F.A. and C.A.I.A. charter holder. 

The 2019 Cape Wine Auction saw R14 625 million raised. “At a time when South African education is in crisis and donor fatigue is on the rise, the Cape Wine Auction Trust is now more important than ever,” says Darielle Robertson, director of The Cape Wine Auction. “We are delighted with this year’s results, and it means we can continue with our programmes and see a tangible difference."



There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. This #wineforgood website, launched by wine.co.za in June 2016, hosts all the positive stories from the winelands, of which there are plenty. wine.co.za has made April a focus for #wineforgood stories, being Freedom Month, as South Africa celebrates 25 years of democracy.
Please share your stories with us and share these stories with the rest of the world.
Email editor@wine.co.za

Raymond Ndlovu
Raymond Ndlovu

Wendy Appelbaum
Wendy Appelbaum

Trustees of the Cape Wine Auction
Trustees of the Cape Wine Auction

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