So you're probably wondering what Kunye, The Wine Wise is all about...
Perhaps we've made our lives a little harder by opting for three objectives at the same time. But all three paths lead to the same goal - growing the number of wine appreciators in South Africa.
A place where fellow South Africans can stand up and be counted as one of the many who believe in diversity and inclusiveness in the SA wine landscape. It's not the kind of club where you need to pay for things, or tolerate constant newsletters. It's the place where you lend you voice (name and email address to be specific) to the cause. We'd love to rack up enough numbers to approach the wine industry and say 'hey, we all want to see a change'. And in exchange, we'll host quarterly masterclasses with a few fun people. And once the pandemic resolves itself we'd love to meet you in person.
Both Cassidy and I believe in education. You can take away someone's clothing, house, car...but you can't take away the knowledge that they've gained. We want the average consumer to drink better. And to choose better, you need to know better. Wine books and wine studies can be expensive. So we decided to release a free ebook that upgrades everyone's wine knowledge. We also had the book translated into Xhosa - because we insist that wine be inclusive...that wine be for everyone who is interested...and that wine information be available in more languages.
And then there's the wine. It's not so much 'the wine' as it is the scholarship. We believe that South Africa needs more wine scholarships. The best way for me to describe this need is by using myself as an example. I want to do my WSET Level 4. I can apply for the IWEC bursary, but that only knocks £1000 off of the R96,000 fee. 2020 was a tough year, but under normal circumstances, I could eventually save up for this diploma level. I'm not privileged...but I also don't care much for clothing or shoes or stuff. If I really pinch and sacrifice my overall wine budget, I can get there. But not everyone has the luxury of a roof over their head...and this year, especially, not everyone has the luxury of employment. We want to help those people who really need the help to continue their wine education.
100% of the profits of each bottle of wine goes towards the scholarship fund. When I say 100%, I mean it. I'm not even sure if we'll ever be able to claim our expenses...so once the wine bill has been paid, and once the tax has been paid...hopefully I'll be able to claim my Level 4 savings that was spent on wine labels and delivery fees etc...100% of the profits will be for the scholarship. There are a few wine brands who donate a percentage of their earnings to good causes. They're probably far wiser than we are! We knew from day one that we wanted to give it all to the scholarship.
It's been a full time job trying to make this work. Every day I worry about whether this will work. It seems so straightforward...get as many people in SA who believe in equality and diversity to sign up to the free club...convince 2500 people to buy our wine. Yet...I worry that of the 576 000 people who already purchase wine in South Africa, I won't be able to reach even 5%.
Selling wine is hard. If you'd like to help, head to www.thewinewise.co.za .