South Africa is one of the largest wine producers in the world. While black people make up 80 per cent of the country’s population, less than two per cent of this R26.5-billion industry is black-owned. Indeed, ever since the Dutch settlers planted the first vineyard on indigenous peoples’ land in 1655, the relationship between black South Africans and wine has been complicated.
While the road from wine to riches hasn’t always been sweet, a handful of black women, each with a good nose for business, is blazing a trail through the vineyards of this country, creating a new legacy of fine wines — some of them in the unlikeliest of settings. During Women’s Month, we salute these ladies in red (and white).