The Final Countdown to #wineforgood - our favourite good news stories so far

Thursday, 28 March, 2019 - Trudie Webb (Editor)
Come April, we'll be sharing a good news story from the winelands with you every day. With already over 100 stories on our #wineforgood Spotlight page since launching this initiative in 2016, we look back at a few of our favourite stories as we get ready to share plenty of new ones.

A thread running through many of the great initiatives started by South Africa's wine producers is a focus on education. To brake the poverty cycle, change must start at the roots and empowerment lies in educating our children to create opportunities their parents didn't have. We've seen many wineries pour heart and money into the education of their workers' children with safe creches, state of the art schools and aftercare programs. 

It Takes a Village

"Wifi in every classroom? Yes. Data projector in every classroom? Yes. Massive computer lab with internet access and educational software? Yes. Free, nutritious meals every day? Yes. On-site medical facility? Yes. Library? Yes. Two of them. Low teacher-pupil ratio? Yes. Stunning mountain views in between the rural vineyards? Yes."

This is what Izak de Vries reported when seeing the school and creches at Du Toitskloof Cellar in 2016. 

Du Toitskloof Wines is Fairtrade accredited, which means that for every bottle of wine sold into the export market, a premium gets paid to a collective that benefits the workers. In 2016 alone more than R4 million was paid to this collective. These funds are managed by the workers themselves. A large proportion of it goes towards education, which means that these working-class children now have opportunities that rival those from upper-middle class homes in the suburbs.

Read the full story here

Many of our #wineforgood stories have shown us that the wine industry is taking care of its own, taking responsibility of the well-being of its workers and their families. It doesn't stop there, as some aim to uplift the communities surrounding them. 

The THUNDERCHILD PROJECT was started to address the issues the children of The Herberg children's home in Robertson face. 

Springfield Estate volunteered their knowledge, winemaking skills and cellar facilities for this project. The result, the Thunderchild wine, of which the proceeds go towards the educational needs of the Herberg children. To date the project has helped fund five students through university (including accommodation and pocket money), a full time tutor, extra Master Maths classes for all ages and driving lessons for every child of age. They even have a licensed lorry driver as one of their alumni!

Read the full story here

An Industry Unites

Most recently we saw the wine industry unite again to raise a whopping R15-million for education in the winelands. The annual Cape Wine Auction has created a benchmark in philanthropy, raising over R88 million, with 100% of proceeds going to 22 beneficiaries, all of whom have had a profound impact on education and the lives of children in the Cape winelands.

The idea for the auction was conceived six years ago when Mike Ratcliffe was inspired by a trip to Auction Napa Valley in the US, a wine auction with the mandate of subsidising health costs.

Back in South Africa he was joined by a powerhouse group of trustees – which now include Raymond Ndlovu, Wendy Appelbaum, Paul Cluver, Ken Kinsey-Quick and Iain Banner–and the dream of making a real difference soon became a reality. The CWA trustees instituted a unique model of distribution for the auction proceeds, with greater collaboration amongst the 22 organisations who receive assistance, to optimise productivity by eliminating duplication and concentrating on key areas of expertise.

Read the full story here

Stay tuned as our #wineforgood month kicks off on Monday, 1 April, with a good news story every day.