From the heart ...

Thursday, 15 April, 2021
Wines of South Africa, Fiona McDonald
“The heart is a pump,” cardiac surgeon Professor Chris Barnard famously said. In December it will be 54 years since he conducted the world’s first ever historic heart transplant at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town.

Heart is not something South Africans lack. Despite the bold, sometimes brash and tough exterior we as a nation display, believing we can take on the world and win – there are times when our tough carapace is exposed as brittle. And tender hearts and genuine goodness lie exposed.

The winemaking community steps up when most needed. Just ask Lukas van Loggerenberg who discovered who his mates really were when he was almost immobilised with an injury in his first solo harvest. His friends rallied around and literally did the heavy lifting – in addition to having already put in the hard yards making their own wines. Hence the Break a Leg and Kamaradie wines... Or Samantha O’Keefe of Lismore whose Greyton winery burned down in a runaway fire 18 months ago.

In this rapid paced world where business can be brutal and margins tight, it’s rare to see caring and concern trump the bottom line. And yet... peoples’ hearts can be in the right place too. Thousands of British consumers happily backed the #SaveSAWine campaign over the past year after the alcohol bans and export shenanigans was broadcasted. Their kind actions helped keep people employed during the pandemic.

And so it was with the Imvini Wethu project which the Old Vines Project’s Andre Morgenthal admits fell into place within a matter of days – as though the stars and planets were aligned! WoSA’s woman in Germany, Petra Mayer, was approached by a group of importers, brand owners and industry professionals who were concerned at the situation SA wine farmers were experiencing under lockdown. Their hearts went out to the plight of producers and they wanted to help. They hit upon the idea of a unique bottling for their market.

“The concept and motivation came from them – and it is all about people!” Morgenthal said. Rosa Kruger, Andrea Mullineux and Andre put their heads together and blended cinsaut and pinotage, involving the CWG protégés in the exercise. (The cinsaut, for example, is from the venerable Franschhoek vineyard which usually supplies Mullineux’s Cape Winemakers Guild bottling.) The plan was for it to reflect old vine fruit but be classic, elegant and drinkable for the European palate, bearing in mind that it would be bought and consumed in the northern hemisphere winter.

Click HERE to read the full article

There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. The #wineforgood website, launched by in June 2016, hosts all the positive stories from the winelands, of which there are plenty. has made April a focus for #wineforgood stories. Share them far and wide and spread the good news about South African wine.