On Friday I visited The Township Winery in Philippi to learn more about this project born of the passionate love of wine of local entrepreneur and property developer Kate Jambela. Kate is best know for building houses to home the many people that live in shacks in this area. “Kate’s belief is that you can build somebody a new house, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done to make it a home.” She says that “The Township Winery will form a valuable focus for the local community.”
Joining forces with wine expert Graham Knox, a former ad-man, they’ve put their heads together to start this project, citing the old Cement Factory as the sight for the Township Winery.
The wonderful remains of this iconic factory that closed in the early ‘80’s, are begging for a rebirth. The plan is that the winery will form part of a business centre for Philippi, adding to the Learning Centre and shopping area already operating here. The townships were developed to “house people”, and no town centres were ever considered in their developments, and they need creating to give these vibrant areas a place for ‘coming together’. And if a locally produced wine is involved, even better.
To ensure community involvement and a sense of ownership, hundreds of individual homesteads are being given Sauvignon Blanc vines to grow at their homes. They are each being trained to look after their vines, and the grapes will be harvested and go towards production of a wine that will produly bear the label “Township Wiinery”.
Below is a photo of Mama, outside her home, proudly showing off her vine with its baby grapes proudly tended.
Graham, Nomhle Zondani (marketing), Johanna and I.
It won’t end there, as Kate and Graham have also ear-marked a patch of land between an active urban garden and children’s park that will be cleaned up and planted to vine. Its within walking distance of the famous Mzoli’s – what could be better?
Looking at it now it appears a daunting project, but the enthusiasm and determination of these Winemakers is palpable, and I have no doubt that in no time at all vines will be growing. Also, the Municipality have agreed to assist with the cleanup. If volunteers are needed I will send a shout out.
Thank you Johanna Stamps of Fund Coach for inviting me to join you on this visit. I look forward to our return and to tasting some of the wonderful Sauvingnon Blanc that will be made from this community infused love.
If you’d like to learn more visit their website or give Nomhle Zondani: +27 73 450 951 or Graham Knox: +27 83 625 2865 a call. This is a dream in the making, and I for one will be looking to enjoy and support their wine.