New Winery in S Africa - Printable Version

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- klecko74 - 02-09-1999 01:44 PM

I was reading in "WINE" magazine the start-up of the Klein Gegin winery - the first wine venture in South Africa in which vines are owned, farmed and vinified by black South Africans.

For a small donation (£500 or $310) you will receive a bottle of 1998 New beginnings maiden vintage and 12 bottles a year for five years stating in 1999.

Has anyone heard of this winery?
Any opinions?

- Pinotage1 - 02-10-1999 12:02 AM

The winery involved with "New Beginnings" is Backsberg Estate. Several years ago they leased a nearby vineyard for their long-time employees to work and vinefy. I'm waiting for my 1999 Guide to SA wines to arrive so I will hopefully soon have ratings on these wines.
Ellen V

- klecko74 - 02-10-1999 04:05 AM

Would you mind letting me know what you find out about them?

Do you have suggestions on where I might find some information? I've tried different searches but to no avail.


- intlnrgy - 02-10-1999 09:46 AM

Ellen is correct - Michael Back, who is known as a big viticultural innovator in SA, is also something of a social innovator, with his attempt to split with a long tradition of winery-owned housing for workers. The object is for the workers to be able to buy their own houses in a new development near Paarl. You can e-mail Michael for more info at, or contact Zelma Long, the well-known Sonoma winemaker whose husband is also involved in the venture.


- tomstevenson - 02-14-1999 08:16 AM

There are a few initiatives involving black South Africans and these will increase as a substantial proportion of the funds liberated from the KWV's "privatisation" is specifically diverted into these projects (no little thanks to Michael Fridjhon, who has championed the cause), but as far as I'm aware they all involve the wine being made for them by established wineries, all white-owned, of course. The only winery I know that has a black South African involved in the ownership and day-to-day winemaking is The Spice Route, where a very hip guy called Jabulani is a partner (with Back amongst other investors). The venture is that young that the wines were all in tank or cask when I tasted there with Jabulani in September. Some stunning reds, but it is too early to dismiss the whites (no pun intended!).

[This message has been edited by tomstevenson (edited 02-14-99).]

- tomstevenson - 02-14-1999 08:23 AM

Oh, Klecko74, if you can tell me where I can buy £500 for just $310, that really would be an investment!

- Pinotage1 - 02-14-1999 06:25 PM

Well I was certainly wrong about New Beginnings,which is Nelson Estate. Backsberg's venture is Freedom Road. Finally got my 1999 Wine Guide but they are holding off on reviewing Klein Begin for now. But the reviewer was very effusive about The Spice Boys and their wines--and why not? John Platter and Jabulani Ntshangase are two of the four partners. Has living in New York made me this suspicious?
Ellen V