“The family tree is like a vine that grows. It’s who we are and where we come from.” Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela
Each bottle has a bee symbolizing the Mandela family token. It symbolizes courage, compassion and a concern for others; the wings represent the many branches of the Mandela family tree and invoke shared circles of friendship and community relationships. A few weeks ago, Bed-Vyne hosted Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela and Tukwini Mandela, respectively daughter and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela to sign bottles of their House of Mandela Wines. The wines are produced in the world’s most beautiful, bio-diverse winelands, in an environmentally sensitive and ethically responsible techniques. Within the collection are three labels: The Royal Reserve, the Thembu Collection and sparkling.
The Royal Reserve label represents South African winemaking in the finest quality. It’s produced by three wineries located in the Western Cape region with strict quality control, in which only a limited selection of this label is available. The wines available in this label are Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Thembu Collection is Fair Trade-certified that guarantees producers a set minimum price for their grapes and workers earn a living wage. The wine-producing communities fund additional development programs. And, a portion of proceeds are donated to the House of Mandela Family Foundation (HoMFF) as well as the Africa Rising Foundation that strives to relieve the burden of poverty in African communities.The Thembu Collection is inspired by the Thembu people, who are known for their hospitality and peace-loving ways. They have a deep appreciation of nature and their land, characterized by warmth and compassion for all people. The wines are easy to drink and accessible. Six varietals are produced for this range: Three reds (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage) and three whites (Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc).
The sparkling wine is a “Methode Cap Classique”—bottle fermented sparkling wine. It has a fresh racy zestiness, resulting in a crisp acidity and rich fruit. It ages up to three years from the date of purchase, in which the wine’s flavor softens over time as its sparkle is maintained. It’s a blend of 55% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 12% Pinotage. Currently, it isn’t available in the United States (Although, I’m trying to purchase three bottles for New Year’s and Kwanzaa).
The House of Mandela Wines are imported by Heritage Link Brands (Janelle Carter of Corkchronicles.com wrote about the Heritage Link Brands at KwanzaaCulinarians in 2012). The wines are also sold at Brooklyn’s Bed-Vyne Wine Shop.