Wanna get royally wasted? Zulu king's booze will sort you out
The monarch is branching out into brandy, whisky and beer as part of his ever-growing portfolio of commercial products
After unveiling a royal brandy at his lavish 70th birthday party in July, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is now set to launch a royal whisky and beer as part of his exclusive brand label, Bayede.
The Bayede! XO Brandy, which will retail for R2,000 a bottle, will be available before December, while the royal whisky and King Shaka Zulu Beer are planned for next year. The royal brandy was a result of a partnership between Bayede and SA’s oldest distillery Oude Molen formed in May this year.
The royal brandy has already been showcased on a Ghanaian TV station during the Cape Wine Show.
Bayede CEO Antoinette Vermooten said plans were afoot to launch the royal whisky and King Shaka Beer next year.
Bayede wines, which are decorated with beads, the royal crest and the king’s signature, are available at select restaurants in Johannesburg and Durban only. They are a hit at the King Shaka Restaurant and Nightclub in London.
Wines in the collection include Bayede 7 Icon Chenin Blanc 2015, HM King Goodwill Pinotage 2010, Queen Thomo Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and Queen Mantfombi Brut Rosé 2007. They cost between R342 and R1,920 a bottle.
Bayede has sold more than one million bottles of its wine, and the Bayede 7 Icon was selected for this year’s Nederburg Auction, which offers wine enthusiasts from around the world an opportunity to bid on and invest in an incredible collection of older SA fine and rare wines.
There is also a top-end jewellery and accessory range that includes a R3m 17-carat diamond pendant called Modjadji. Accessories include crocodile and ostrich leather handbags, handmade clothing, organic soaps and a hand-embroidered bedding line.
Two years ago, King Zwelithini added the royal tea, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to his label. The royal rooibos tea is farmed and packaged in Clanwilliam in the Western Cape, and the Zulu monarch loves it, particularly with lemon and honey. It is being exported to China, where it is selling for R1,300 for 100g.
The Bayede extra-virgin olive oil is produced in the Wellington district in the Western Cape — an area known for its fruit orchards, wine estates, buchu plantations and olive groves.
Now Bayede has added glass ceramics, gift and hampers, African ceramic mugs and Zebra pottery vases to its line.
Vermooten said they sold glass ceramics to Mass Mart in Atlanta, US.
She also revealed Bayede, which exports its products to countries such as China, Brazil, Canada and Germany and is also listed with Tsogo Sun, Marriot and Sun International Groups, had signed an agreement with two agents in Russia this week to export their products there.
It remains a closely guarded secret how much King Zwelithini, SA’s most pampered monarch, is raking in from his Bayede products.
“This is about job creation, more than anything else,” he said about Bayede.
The Zulu monarch, who earns a R1m annual salary and in excess of R50m given to the royal family by the KZN government, is the owner of the Thokazi royal lodge in Nongoma.
The lodge comprises three chalets, each boasting four standard bedrooms and a luxury room. Each room has a minibar, 32-inch plasma TV and offers a complimentary bottle from his Bayede wine collection.
A room costs R750 a person, including breakfast.
King Zwelithini also recently announced he was opening his palaces to tourists, just like Buckingham Palace, to raise funds for nine new development projects, including a Disney-style cultural theme park.