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How wineries are giving to their communities

This year has seen us band together like never before, with restaurants and other businesses in the industry supporting each other wherever possible. We wanted to highlight some local wineries that are bolstering their support of their communities during these tough times.

Cathedral Peak Wine Estate – Central Drakensberg

Cathedral Peak mentors the Okhahlamba Outgrowers, a joint venture between Amaswazini, Amangwane and Amazizi Outgrowers. Cathedral Peak has assisted the community farmers in infrastructure and viticulture techniques on their 15-hectare vineyards in the Drakensberg region. The project is in year three of five. Once the vines come to maturity, the grapes will be purchased by Cathedral Peak to create their wines.

Gerakaris Family Wines – Johannesburg

Yes, Jozi has its own winery. As you can imagine, this family-owned business doesn’t have vineyards but sources its grapes from the Swartland region. These grapes are picked and sent up in cold storage to the winery where Kath Gerakaris presses, ferments and matures wines. It is housed at the REEA Foundation in Craighall urban farm in the heart of Johannesburg. All their rent goes towards the foundation’s projects, which includes an HIV/AIDS orphan outreach programme; food security programmes for disabled or previously disadvantaged individuals; a daycare programme for persons with mild neurological disorders; and a literacy outreach programme.

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Journey’s End – Helderberg

The Journey’s End Foundation has set up a network of soup kitchens in the Helderberg Region and has initially committed to providing 8,000 meals per week for 52 weeks, with a target of achieving 10,000 meals per week by the end of October 2020. They have always placed a big focus on supporting the winery’s local community, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. As well as employing the winery, the team works closely with community heads to channel resources into several development programmes, which includes the building of a new school hall for the local school in Sir Lowry’s Pass village.

Lubanzi Wines – Swartland

Lubanzi – named after a wandering dog that followed the founders on a hundred-mile trek along the Wild Coast – is a socially conscious company, crafting fairly produced wines and creating a difference in the lives of the labourers who live and work on South Africa’s wine farms. They recycle 50% of year-end profits with the Pebbles Project, an organisation that works to improve the lives of those who labour on South Africa’s wine farms.

Perdeberg Winery – Paarl

Perdeberg Winery launched the #SACalling campaign during South Africa’s lockdown prohibition. They donated R5 for every bottle sold via its online store to two NGOs running feeding schemes – TLC Love Foundation in the Western Cape and Plesion in Gauteng. They also support a local community primary school named the Goedgedacht Trust and believe in ethical farming and uplifting of its surrounding communities.

Rascallion Wines – Stellenbosch

The Stellenbosch-based wine brand has aligned with local NGO Dignity Dreams, which provides comfort and menstrual health education to young women and girls from disadvantaged and at-risk communities in South Africa. Dignity Dreams manufactures and distributes washable pads that, when used effectively, can replace 144 disposable pads over their 4-year lifespan. The NGO also employs 20 women directly. Funds are raised from sales of the With Love from the Cape Collection.

Stellar Organic Winery – West Coast

This West Coast winery actively improves the lives of its farmworkers through the Stellar Empowerment Trust. The Stellar Agri development project is a BEE-company that farms organic fairtrade grapes on land leased by Stellar Organics and sells its grapes at a market rate. This company owns 26% of Stellar and is a 63.7% direct shareholder of the Empowerment Trust.

Waterkloof – Helderberg

Waterkloof has been supporting Sir Lowry’s Pass Village Empowerment Trust since 2011 and has contributed through feeding programmes, building a literacy centre and raising funds to sponsor the salaries of Emily Play School teachers.

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