A hint of Xhosa? Then the wine is from this EC township

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A hint of Xhosa? Then the wine is from this EC township

Soon the Chinese and Russians will be raising a toast to this Eastern Cape wine, and so should you

Tembile Sgqolana


Wines from the Eastern Cape township of Whittlesea sound unlikely.
But from the donga-dotted grasslands and rural settlements of the Sada valley, in the shadow of the Winterberg, come Inkosi wines.
Inkosi wines have been cultivated and grown by Xhosa hands, and this week the Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative in Shiloh township, Whittlesea, proudly announced their chenin blanc and pinotage have hit the shelves of the local Pick n Pay in nearby Komani (formerly Queenstown) at a reasonable price of R49.99 a bottle. Consumers can expect to see the chardonnay next.
Inkosi may be the name of a Xhosa traditional leader, but soon the Chinese and Russians will be raising a toast to an Eastern Cape wine, as there are plans to export it.
It’s a product of the Mayime winery, a community cooperative under Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative.
The co-op has a 7-hectare vineyard in Shiloh irrigation scheme, where they harvest the grapes and transport them to Cape Town. In Cape Town, the juice is extracted, blended and bottled.
Chris Hani Development Agency CEO Thukela Mashologu called on residents to support the local brand.
“Let us own the wine as the people of this district and improve the lives of the Shiloh community. This wine is a registered brand, and it is the first community-owned wine.
“Recently the co-op received its winery licence, and we are going to start marketing the brand throughout the country,” he said.
Mashologu said making the wine available in stores would open doors for other people to start vineyards that supported the wine.
“We need about 100ha supporting the winery. We need to be like the Western Cape, which is known for its vineyards. As CHDA we have been supporting this programme since its beginning in 2012, and we continue to attract funding,” he said.
Mayime Primary Agricultural Cooperative chair Selborne Cecane said having the wine in stores was a great achievement.
“Since we have finally hit the market after two years of producing the wine, our project will increase and we will create more jobs for the poor community of Shiloh. The idea of having a wine came after we found out that our land is good for planting grapes, and that led us to start planting grapes. With the help of our partners we managed to have our first wine made in 2016,” he said.
“We have hopes of exporting the wine to China and Russia as we have been in talks with those countries.”
He said currently the vineyard had close to 40 workers and that number increases during harvest time.
“We are in a process of getting a cellar through the help of government and the CHDA.
“So far we have the 2016 and 2017 wines,” he said.
– © Daily Dispatch

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