When someone says Nelson Mandela – what do you think of? Political prominence, humanity, social brilliance and revolutionary philanthropy are only some of the things that come to mind for me. After one afternoon spent at the iYellow Wine Cave, I now add the word ‘wine’ to that list.
Yes, that’s right. House of Mandela Wine exists and is not only a great product, but is Free Trade guaranteed and carries through the legacy of Nelson and his family while supporting a thriving industry in South Africa contributing to the country’s economic prosperity. Who knew a great glass of wine could do all of that?
Angela Aiello and her team at the iYellow Wine Club put off an incredible meet and tasting with Dr. Makaziwe Mandela and Tukwini Mandela.
Dr. Makaziwe Mandela is the eldest daughter of Evelyn Mase and Nelson Mandela and grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg. Dr. Makaziwe is an incredibly accomplished woman and has been intricately involved in developing a substantial investment portfolio within Nozala, a women’s investment group, aiding the economic uplift and empowerment of women in South Africa.
Tukwini Mandela was born in the Eastern Cape and is the eldest child of Dr. Makaziwe Mandela. While her mother was away at University, Tukwini was raised by her grandmother, Evelyn, until the age of 10. Tukwini holds a degree in Social Work from Wits University and is currently the Marketing Director for House of Mandela, which is run by both Tukwini and her mother.
The wines are described as being so much more than just the juice in the bottle. The wine is meant to symbolize the House of Mandela and the story of the rainbow nation of South Africa. This project and business endeavour “is a way of paying homage not only to our father and grandfather, but also honoring our ancestors”.
All of the wines really showcase a sense of place. The Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and easy drinking and can be found on our LCBO shelves for only $12.85 a bottle.
The Shiraz has an interesting funk from the soil with confectionary cherry and clove spice on the nose. Ripe cherry and soft tannins dominate the palate. The spice is evident and the overall style of the wine is fruit-forward and easy drinking.
The Cabernet Sauvignon has a nose of fresh berries, while the silky tannins made the palate very pleasurable with fresh cherry, cassis and slight capsicum flavour profiles.
The Pinotage was the most interesting wine of the day as this grape is quintessential to South Africa, but is rather difficult to produce. This wine was full in flavour with warm berries on the nose and charred wood on the palate. This would make a great summer BBQ wine.
Tukwini and Dr. Makaziwe stress that these wines are a great way to not only tell the story of Nelson himself, but to reiterate the values of the House and to carry on the legacy and bring the family into the future.
Melissa is an active feature columnist with Natalie MacLean and writer for her own website – Recipes and Red Wine.
In addition to her writing, Melissa acts as a Sommelier, a freelance wine consultant and founder of The Vino Enthusiasts Wine Club in Southern Ontario.