Moedi Wines champions beekeeping in rural South Africa at ProWein 2024

by Tia
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Moedi Wines, a new female-owned African wine brand, is set to make waves at ProWein 2024 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Founded by Lesego Serolong Holzapfel, Moedi not only showcases premium South African wines globally but also emphasises sustainability, African heritage, and community empowerment through the craft of beekeeping.

This year, South Africa commemorates 30 years of democracy and 365 years of its wine industry, which now employs over a quarter million people in its value chain.

“Amid our challenges, there is much to celebrate,” Holzapfel reflects. “In 1994, it was nearly impossible for any black wine producers to participate in ProWein, and yet here we are.”

Growing its wine exports from only 50 million litres in 1994, South Africa ranked as the sixth-largest wine exporter globally in 2022, at 440 million litres. Despite a dip to an estimated 306 million litres in 2023, Holzapfel envisions the industry’s potential to expand its wine exports and further increase the value per litre.

“In a new South Africa where collaboration flourishes, both black and white winemakers are crafting some of the world’s finest wines and Cap Classique,” she says. “I believe our story must be shared with the world; it is a story of hope, friendship, and excellence.”

At ProWein 2024, Moedi is launching three single varietals – Chenin Blanc, Mourvèdre Rosé, and Shiraz – handpicked from the prominent Swartland region’s dryland vineyards, known for producing complex, rich, yet easily drinkable wines. Moedi’s wines will be available soon in South Africa, the United States, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Holzapfel believes the brand stands out for its quality as well as her focus on sustainability and impact. Originally from the North West province bordering Botswana, Holzapfel is committed to rural livelihood. Her food production career has been dedicated to creating rural income. In 2023, her Bokamoso enterprises won two important South African National Presidential Awards: one for Social Enterprise of the Year and the other for Breaking Ground Small Business.

The brand name “Moedi,” pronounced “mu-e-di,” means ‘a stream of water’ in her native Setswana language. She created this brand based on the belief that, just as water brings life, so do wine and honey. According to Holzapfel, Moedi Wines not only entices the palate but also supports honey farmers and funds scholarships for orphans in rural villages, with 10% of all profits donated.

Bee Loved Honey infuses Black Bee Brut

“When you drink Moedi Wines, you assist African honey farmers to generate a sustainable, ethical income,” Holzapfel says. After she realised South Africa was a net importer of honey, despite having an abundance of honeybees, she created business structures to empower rural beekeepers in remote villages.

“We have built over 1 000 hives; we have provided training and mentorship to more than 50 beekeepers; and we buy their honey at fair wholesale prices for our retail brand, Bee Loved Honey,” she explains. “In this way, we create a sustainable ecosystem.”

Holzapfel emphasises, “Bees play a crucial role as pollinators, aiding biodiversity and the health of our environmental ecosystem. Some of the beekeepers also cultivate grapes for wine. Although bees do not pollinate vines, we can empower people in the value chain by helping them to diversify their income and become stewards of the soil.”

A recent collaboration with Franschhoek-based Black Elephant Vintners & Co. led to the creation of the Black Elephant Vintners X Moedi Wines Cap Classique Black Bee Brut. This Cap Classique receives a dosage – or a ‘top up’ – with honey. The wine embodies the spirit of both brands, celebrating the beauty and strength that emerge when diverse talents and cultures unite. “While the African elephant reigns over the bush, it’s the small African honeybee that creates boundaries around the entire bush ecosystem for the elephant and all its animals, driving food security through pollination,” Holzapfel explains.

The ‘o’ in Moedi represents the honeycomb of the beehive, symbolising collaboration with friends. “We cherish building bridges to bring a part of Africa to the world through wine, and the world back to Africa through impact.”

Giving back to Raise the Children

Holzapfel’s impact continues to inspire and change lives. Together with her husband, Neil, she co-founded Raise the Children International, a South African non-profit providing scholarships to orphans with leadership potential.

“Since 2012, we’ve assisted 176 scholars in accessing quality education,” shares Holzapfel, an orphan herself, whose journey includes seven transformative years in the United States.

Meet the beekeeping wine ambassador at ProWein

South Africa’s beekeeping wine ambassador is as at ease on any international stage as she is in a beekeeper suit.Look out for Holzapfel from 10 to 12 March 2024, at ProWein, Düsseldorf. Taste Moedi’s exceptional wines at the Wines of South Africa (WoSA) exhibition, Hall 14, Block A70, Stand 3.

TASTING NOTES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BELOW:

MOEDI CHENIN BLANC 2023:

100% Chenin Blanc.

APPELLATION: Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa.
TASTING NOTES: A refined offering, a symphony of tropical fruit and green apple aromas that entice the senses. With each sip, its good minerality leads to a fleshy and fresh finish that lingers on the palate. This wine is more than just a taste; it’s an experience that connects you to the very essence of Africa.
FOOD PAIRING: The Moedi Chenin Blancpairs seamlessly with a variety of culinary delights. It enhances the flavours of fish, shellfish, white meat, and salads, making it an ideal companion for light fare.
RRP (SOUTH AFRICA): R128.80

MOEDI ROSÉ 2023:

100% Mourvèdre.

APPELLATION: Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa.
TASTING NOTES: Enchanting aromas of raspberry and pomegranate follow through with a symphony of flavours on the palate. Ripe watermelon notes intermingle with a tantalising cranberry finish, crafting an engaging yet elegant wine that radiates finesse and allure.
FOOD PAIRING: The Moedi Rosé 2023 is the perfect wine partner. Its versatility shines as it complements both the freshness of summer platters and the warmth of a hearty tomato-based stew during the colder winter months.
RRP (SOUTH AFRICA): R128.80

MOEDI SHIRAZ 2022:

100% Shiraz.

APPELLATION: Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa.
TASTING NOTES: A seductive perfume with notes of red berries, flowers, herbs, and a hint of white pepper. As you savour the first sip, your palate will be met with an alight yet energetic dance. The wine boasts a striking purity of fruit, balanced by fresh acidity, leading to a super-dry finish.
FOOD PAIRING: A wine fit for feasts, Moedi Shiraz 2022 beautifully complements rich dishes such as roast duck, grilled meats, and hearty pasta creations.
RRP (SOUTH AFRICA): R147.20.

BLACK BEE BRUT:

Black Elephant Vintners X Moedi Wines Cap Classique Black Bee Brut is a celebration of the Kalahari desert’s essence, reflecting Moedi Wines’ commitment to innovation, sustainability, and authenticity. Receiving a dosage – or a ‘top up’ – with honey, this Cap Classique harmoniously blends tradition with creativity, promising a memorable and enriching drinking experience for every occasion.

  • Enchanting Bouquet: The Black Bee Brut reveals a captivating aroma of wildflowers, intertwined with delicate hints of Kalahari honey, evoking the vast expanse and natural beauty of the desert.
  • Subtle Sweetness: Upon the first sip, the Black Bee Brut gracefully introduces a nuanced sweetness from the infusion of honey, offering a delightful twist to the traditional Cap Classique experience without overpowering the palate.
  • Refreshing Citrus Undertones: Harmonising with the sweetness, notes of crisp citrus fruits like ripe lemons and tangerines dance on the palate, providing a refreshing and balanced flavour profile.
  • Silky Texture: The Black Bee Brut boasts a luxurious and silky-smooth texture, elevating the drinking experience and enveloping the palate with an elegant embrace.
  • Lively Effervescence: Delicate bubbles gently stimulate the senses, creating a lively and invigorating sensation that enhances the overall enjoyment of this Cap Classique.
  • Graceful Finish:  With a refined and lingering finish, the Black Bee Brut leaves behind a delicate sweetness and a subtle touch of minerality, inviting you to savour each sip with reverence.

RRP (SOUTH AFRICA): On request

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