South African wine fraternity pulls the stops for a worthy cause

Charity Wines 1

An innovative initiative has seen the SA wine industry pull together for a very worthy cause: that of providing homes for children with severe learning disabilities.

Initiated in May 2006 by Peter Shrimpton and Rikus Nieuwenhuis in collaboration with the Lorraine Forbes Foundation, Charity Wines provides donated surplus wines to companies, individuals and retail partners in return for their ongoing commitment to support the children’s homes.

Peter and Rikus began by securing support from the CEOs of the industry governing bodies, before approaching producers of fine South African wines. The reaction was phenomenal, with most players wondering why this had never been done before.

Logistics were soon arranged via the Vineyard Connection, who readily committed to provide collection and distribution. The first sizeable contribution was offered by Nederburg via Distell; with Jean Engelbrecht noted for his help in kicking off.

The liquor license was promptly arranged by Cluver Markotter Attorneys, and approved by the Western Cape Liquor Board within 6 months.

Attractive and modern packaging was supplied by Mondi Pak in conjunction with Africa Stereos and Laser Die, all of whom made the arrangements under the auspices of Corporate Social Responsibility. A six-month commitment by KWV to cover operating costs, and a generous contribution to the Charity Wine stock verifies their company motto; ‘together we create winning brands’; and saw the project well on its way to reality.

The contributions continue, and Charity Wines is soon to make its mark on solving the housing problems of learning-disabled children. Congratulations to Peter and Rikus on seeing the project through; and to the industry as a whole for pulling the stops to realize a shared dream.

By Erica Liebenberg