Wine arrives at our tables from innumerable sources. Today, most of the wine purchased by consumers in the United States is made by large corporate ventures that churn out huge quantities of drinkable, but mostly soulless, wines – wines that lack individuality, a sense of place, and any true connection to the people who helped create them. Other wineries, whose wares we prefer to taste and feature, are artisanal ventures for which the making of wine remains a craft that provides a sustainable livelihood for the people responsible for the handiwork. Moreover, from the fruits of such an enterprise one can taste the terroir and become acquainted with the rhythms of life, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the land and the people who grew the fruit and made the ensuing wine. In such wines, one senses a soul. Bouwland Winery is indeed such a venture. It is an endeavor whose wines reflect the unique terroir of South Africa's Stellenbosch region and the spirit of the people who made it.
Bouwland Winery is owned and run by 60 African farmers who, through an exciting empowerment project, bought the majority of the shares in the property. It is situated on the famous historic slopes where the Stellenbosch Simonsberg region delivers arguably the finest wines in South Africa. Bouwland comprises 56 hectares (or roughly 123 acres) of prime vineyards, including many noble red varietals. Together, with celebrated winemaker Beyers Truter who retains an interest in the farm, the team produces deliciously rich, fruity wines of unmistakable character.
The International Wine of the Month Club is pleased to be one of the first to offer wines from Bouwland Winery in the United States. Therefore, we would like to thank Selena Cuffe, President and CEO of Heritage Link Brands, for the opportunity to feature the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot from Bouwland Winery. We would also like to commend her on her extraordinary selection of wines from indigenous African sources.
Heritage Link Brands
Dear International Wine of the Month Club Member:
On behalf of the Bouwland Winery and Heritage Link Brands, it is with honor and humility that we share this month's selection with you, the Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005, with hopes that you enjoy it immensely and reflect deeply with every sip!
Heritage Link Brands was founded in 2005. We are the only company in the United States dedicated to importing wine harvested by indigenous producers throughout the African Continent. We showcase only the highest quality and variety of cultivars. Heritage Link Brands works with vintners from across Africa, where viticultural soils trace back more than a million years, producing palm wine in Ghana, honey wine in Ethiopia, and the finest grape wines from across the continent. However the majority of our wines, including the Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, come from Africa's most developed wine market, South Africa.
South Africa is the ninth largest wine-producing country in the world. Ironically, almost 15 years since the fall of apartheid, blacks own less than 2% of this $3 billion wine industry, even though they comprise 80% of the country's population. Heritage Link Brands was founded to not only help democratize the landscape in South Africa, but also, through the medium of wine, to expose the world to the beauty that is on the African continent. We are leading a wave of "conscious consumption" that is reshaping not only the South African wine category, but also the U.S. wine industry.
The Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is infused with stories of love, hope, perseverance, and achievement, despite the odds. This strikes a chord with U.S. consumers and is akin to the American dream. Not to mention, the wine is great! With our wines, above all else, quality comes first! But isn't it wonderful to know that as a wine lover, your selections can have a sustainable impact on the world in which we all live? We hope this remarkable wine and the story behind its production sparks insightful conversations with loved ones, inspires you to feel good, and do good!
—Selena Cuffe; Founder Heritage Link Brands