Five South African wine brands that give back

Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
wine.co.za, Jeanine Malan
In the spirit of #wineforgood month, we are honoured to share the stories of local wine brands that are giving back.

In 2019, wine.co.za started dedicating the month of April to showcasing all the good things happening in the wine industry. Since then, we have published a good news story a day during April. Stories of change, transformation, conservation, and upliftment. South African wineries are changing lives in the winelands and you can support their efforts by drinking these wines.

There is a lot of South African wine brands that are giving back to important causes, whether it is through social upliftment initiatives or donating proceeds from their wine sales to charity organisations. Below, find a list of five local wine brands, big and small, that are making a difference. And by buying their wines, you get to make a difference too.

1. Bosman Family Vineyards

Bosman Family Vineyards in Wellington has long been a pioneer in uplifting the local wine industry. As one of the country's first Fairtrade-certified wine producers, the estate has implemented various social, economic and environmental practices that promote long-term sustainability and equitable representation over the years.

Most significantly, Bosman Family Vineyards facilitated the wine industry’s largest Black Economic Empowerment deal to date. In 2018, they transferred 26% ownership of Bosman Adama – the largest vine nursery in Africa – to 260 permanently employed workers through a workers trust. This included shareholding in the winery, vineyards, vine nursery, and more than 1 000 acres of land.

Then there's the Adama Foundation, a communal fund used for community upliftment projects. Existing projects include the Bovlei Community Centre and a counselling office. One of the ways in which funds are raised for the Adama Foundation is through wine sales. For every bottle of the Generation 8, Adama and Fairtrade wine ranges sold, the foundation receives a a percentage of the proceeds.

All-in-all, Bosman Family Vineyards has changed the lives of thousands. Together with other Fairtrade-certified wineries, their initiatives have provided more than 6 000 vulnerable people from their community with job opportunities, education, housing, healthcare, etc.

To shop Bosman Family Vineyards, click HERE.

Farm workers planting new vines at the Bosman Adama vine nursery in Wellington.

2. Dawn Patrol Wines

Dawn Patrol Wines is a sustainable wine brand by esteemed winemaker Trizanne Barnard that is dedicated to protecting the ocean environment.

The name "Dawn Patrol" comes from the tradition that sees surfers getting up before sunrise to search the coast for the perfect swell. As an avid surfer herself, Trizanne is fully aware of the importance of taking care of the ocean and the marine environment it contains. This is what inspired her to start Dawn Patrol Wines.

For every bottle purchased, Dawn Patrol Wines gives a percentage of their profits back to the ocean and local communities through Ocean Pledge and Surfpop. By turning awareness into action, Ocean Pledge is dedicated to reducing single-use plastics. Surfpop creates upliftment and long-lasting opportunities for children and youth from disadvantaged communities in Cape Town and surrounds.

To shop Dawn Patrol Wines, click HERE.

3. Thunderchild

A unique example of community collaboration, Thunderchild Wine is made in aid of the children at the Die Herberg orphanage in Robertson. 100% of proceeds go to the children.

In 2003, various local businesses and individuals came together to establish a 5ha vineyard that could provide long-term financial support to the orphanage. This prime plot is situated right next to Die Herberg and 100% of the grapes harvested produce a Cabernet Franc-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend under the label ‘Thunderchild’. The wine is made by the team at Springfield Estate, free of charge.

The orphanage houses over 120 children from dysfunctional homes. The proceeds from Thunderchild sales supplement existing funding by providing for the specialised education of each child that would otherwise not be possible.

Some activities sponsored by the Thunderchild initiative include driving lessons, attending sports tournaments, musical training, and further education after matric.

For instance, the project has helped fund five students through university (including accommodation and pocket money) to date.

To shop Thunderchild, click HERE.

The 5ha vineyard next to Die Herberg orphanage in Robertson producing wine for the Thunderchild label.

4. Balance

Balance, a quirky wine range by Overhex Wines, is dedicated to fostering harmony between man and nature.

Balance supports the Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) by donating a percentage of every bottle of Balance sold to EHRA's PEACE project. This educational programme promotes the peaceful cohabitation of local communities with desert elephants in Southern Africa. The project empowers people in close proximity to wild elephants with the necessary information to keep themselves, their families, and livestock safe during elephant visits.

To shop Balance, click HERE.

5. Painted Wolf Wines

Founded by Jeremy and Emma Borg, Painted Wolf Wines draws inspiration from the African Wild Dog (aka the "painted wolf").

Launched in 2007, raises funds for and promotes the conservation of southern Africa’s most critically endangered carnivore, the African Wild Dog. For every wine sold, they donated proceeds to the conservation of the African Wild Dog. To date, the winery has donated around R3 million to the conservation of these animals since 2008.

Two of the main wildlife conservation organisations they support are Endangered Wildlife Trust and Tusk.

In support of Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), they raise funds for the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project, which aims to reverse the decline of painted wolves by actively increasing their populations and range throughout southern Africa.

Furthermore, by donating proceeds to Tusk, they help fulfil Tusk’s mission of amplifying the impact of progressive conservation initiatives across Africa. For over 30 years, Tusk has helped pioneer a wide range of successful conservation initiatives across more than 20 countries, protecting more than 40 different threatened species.

To shop Painted Wolf Wines, click HERE.

A family of African Wild Dogs in their natural habitat.

There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. The #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. Share them far and wide and spread the good news about South African wine.