Germany champions Imvini Wethu project to save our vines and protect our future

Tuesday, 16 February, 2021
Cape Winemakers Guild
Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much. This is the slogan with which friends of South African wine in Germany have sent a new premium wine into the German market on 15 February 2021, pledging allegiance with the exceptional quality born from our vines.

Imvini Wethu (meaning our vines in Zulu) was born when a group of German business owners, importers, and wine industry professionals decided to find a creative and sustainable solution to support the South African wine industry. The idea came when our industry was at its most vulnerable amidst stringent Covid-19 lockdown regulations and blanket bans on alcohol sales that threatened the livelihoods of many depending on the wine industry for their only income.

Cross-continental partnerships led to creating an exceptional Cape blend made in association with the Cape Winemakers Guild's (CWG) Protégé Programme under supervision of Andrea Mullineux, CWG Chair and the Old Vine Project, under the mandate of André Morgenthal.

According to Mullineux, it is inspiring to know that the global wine community stands together and supports one another, even through the most challenging of times.

"Not only does the international wine fraternity recognise the quality produced in South Africa, it takes notice of our industry's continual efforts to promote change and implement projects that embrace our diversity and bring about meaningful transformation. We are grateful that our friends in Germany reached out to support us through this initiative. It will give international wine consumers a taste of what we do."

The wine is a blend of Cinsault and Pinotage from two of South Africa’s oldest vineyards. Imvini Wethu carries the Certified Heritage Vineyards seal, the world's first official certification for old vines, making it a premium ambassador for the entire South African wine category. 

The project was spearheaded in Germany last October by German wine label specialist Vollherbst Labels, wine importers Capreo, Linke and Pellegrini, and Petra Mayer. A local design company, Bravo Design and Feed that Bird, partnered with them to bring the concept to life in a colourful, emotive label. According to the German role players who have been working with South Africa for many years, it was an easy decision to come on board, knowing it could make a difference in others' lives while collectively fighting the financial impact of Covid-19. The group – who collaborated specifically to establish this project –  felt it was important to invest in a cause that both empowers future winemakers and protects South African wines' heritage, hence reaching out to the Protégé Programme and the Old Vine Project. Petra Mayer: “Imvini Wethu is a great opportunity for the so many Germans who love South Africa and are more than willing to support their beloved travel destination.”

Back L-R: Andre Morgenthal (Old Vine Project), Protégés Kelsey Shungking and Anique Ceronio, Elzanne Small (Capreo). Front L-R: Rosa Kruger (viticulturist, founder of Old Vine Project), Andrea Mullineux (winemaker and CWG Chair) and Terry-Ann Klink (first year Protégé).

"What's extraordinary about the Imvini Wethu project is how a cross-continental, interdisciplinary team developed a completely new wine brand in new packaging in such a short space of time," adds Matthias Vollherbst. 

Wine merchant specialist retailer Stephan Pellegrini was taken by the finesse and complexity displayed by a wine made from old vines and how this reflects the South African wine industry's ethos. "This wine is a fantastic Ambassador, incorporating stories which makes South African wine industry so unique – heritage in winemaking, unique varietals, old vines, transformation and camaraderie (or collaboration)."

Stephan Nuehlen (CEO Capreo) says: “It was crucial to make a substantial contribution to the wealth of the entire South African wine sector. That’s why all proceeds will be donated to empowerment and heritage programmes in the Cape Winelands.”

Imvini Wethu will be available to international consumers through the German-based wine retailers Capreo, Linke, and Pellegrini, and their distribution network across Europe, selling for the RRP of € 16.95

About the Cape Winemakers Guild

Established in 1982, the Cape Winemakers Guild is a collective of some of South Africa's greatest winemakers. These 43 winemakers have been recognised as excelling at their craft by their peers within the Guild and the members are eligible to submit wines exclusively for the annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction.Over the last 37 years, the Guild's winemakers have demonstrated a commitment to developing the local wine industry through innovative practices and the sharing of knowledge. The Guild and its members are investing in the future of winemaking by nurturing young winemaking talent through the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust and its Protégé Programme. Since its inception in 2006, Protégé Programme has established itself as the most successful skills development programme in the South African wine industry. The programme has enrolled 37 Protégés, 24 of whom are now working in the South African wine industry. 

Imvini Wethu
Imvini Wethu

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