|Nelson Mandela's family unveil Fairtrade range|
|Written by Richard Siddle in Cape Town|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:38|
The daughter and grandaughter of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, are introducing a new Fairltrade wine range to the UK from South Africa.
The range of both premium and sparkling wines are the first products to appear below the new umbrella brand name of House of Mandela that has been created to showcase some of the best product areas from South Africa.
The wines are being revealed to the international wine market for the first time at this week's Cape Wine exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa.
Off Piste Wines is currently working with the producer partners behind the House of Mandela wines and Makaziwe Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela and his grand daughter, Tukwini Mandela, on trading plans and distribution in the UK.
It is showing the wines to UK buyers from major multiples and national players at this week's Cape Wine.
Makaziwe Mandela admitted to Harpers it was quite a daunting challenge developing their own wine range with no experience of the wine industry. "We are the new kids on the block and there are not many people like us in the trade. But we know the Mandela brand is a South African brand as well and we hope we will be able to make a small contribution to let the world know about South African wines."
She said they had been initially cautious about developing their own wine, but were happy to do so on understanding the significant role South African wine plays not only within the economy, but as a major enployer across the country.
The Mandelas worked closely with Lynne Sheriif MW in drawing up a shortlist of over 30 producers they could potentially work with.
But they were quite clear the wines had to be Fairtrade and that the partner wineries must all have good trading and working practices.
Wineries involved in the project include Fairview, Thelema, Hartenberg, Citrusdal and Dutoitsklloof.
The range includes a mainstream collection, a premium set of wines under the Royal Reserve range and a sparkling. Pricing levels are to be released at a later stage.
Charles Back at Fairhills said he was delighted to be involved in the project and would be a major boost not only for South African wine industry but the profile of Fairtade wines around the world, particularly in the US where Faitrade wine is not that well known.
The label designs feature designs taken from Nelson Mandela's colourful collection of shirts.
Makaziwe Mandela said he had tasted the wines as part of his 90th birthday celebrations and "liked them very much".
The wines are to be sold internationally with the main markets being the UK, the US, China, Africa and Brazil.