The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

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Page 34 of 148

T hough the world knows him as Nelson Mandela, South Africa's great revolutionary and first post-apartheid president was called "Rolihlahla" at birth: a moniker reserved for someone brave enough to fetch honey from the comb or challenge the status quo. While the name was certainly portentous for President Mandela, its reach continues down the family line to his daughter, Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, who, in 2010, flipped the white male-dominated South African wine industry on its head by launching House of Mandela Wines with her daughter, Tukwini. "My father was my hardest critic and biggest fan," says Dr. Mandela, a Fulbright scholar with a doctorate in anthropology and a director for Nestlé South Africa and others. "The way he said things sometimes irked me, but in my effort to show him a thing or two, being young and headstrong, I went to obtain my master's and doctorate with a home to run and young children to raise. I learned that in life you must not do things to please your parents only, but you must do things that please you and build you as a person." As international trade expanded for South Africa after the fall of apartheid in the mid-1990s, so, too, did its wine industry. But, as an advocate for human rights and women's rights in particular, Dr. Mandela observes that growth in gender and racial diversity in the South African wine industry has not followed suit. "The role of women has not fundamentally changed from prior to and during the reign of apartheid," she says. "Women still struggle in a very capital-intensive industry that is white and male-dominated. One can count the number of women who actively participate in the business of wine." Though Dr. Mandela had no prior experience in wine herself, she saw an opportunity to offer "a uniquely South African product of superb quality with a soul," while inviting black South Africans to participate in its production. To bring House of Mandela to market, Dr. Mandela part- nered with her daughter, Tukwini Mandela, a seasoned communications professional who is now Director of Marketing for the brand. As its sole operators, mother and daughter source wine from reputable producers who meet strict eligibility requirements for racial and gender equality. "They have to be family-owned wineries," says Dr. Mandela. "They have to treat their employees with dignity and respect, and they must be accredited by BEE [Black Economic Empowerment, a program to reverse the effects of apartheid in the workforce] and practice equality in the truest sense of the word." Dr. Mandela, who is scheduled to give a keynote address at the 2016 Women of the Vine Global Symposium, believes it will take "hard work, determination and a fighting spirit" to see more South African women of color in the cellar and in executive positions across the wine industry. "Things will not change for us as women—whether in the corporate environment, government or running our own businesses—unless we are prepared to fight for our worth and what we believe in." About Women of the Vine ® Women of the Vine is a membership-based alliance that empowers and equips women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry, fostering gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large. The Women of the vine Global Symposium is scheduled for April 4–6, 2016 in Napa, CA. For more information, visit by Jaime Lewis Dr. Makaziwe Mandela: A Woman of the Vine PHOTO COURTESY OF HOUSE OF MANDELA WINES 34  /  the tasting panel  /  january-february 2016 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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