published on: 14 December 2011
A clinical psychologist, her ‘armchair farmer’ husband and their family
launch an internationally successful wine label — without capital,
farming experience or wine-making knowledge.
You’d never have pegged Malmsey Rangaka as a wine maker. For one
thing, she’s a clinical psychologist who knew nothing about farming of
any kind. For another, she had no money to purchase a farm or capital to
equip it with the necessary machinery. She’d also never run a business
before, didn’t understand the local or international wine market and had
no knowledge of how to make wine or, more to the point, how to make a
wine label commercially successful.
So the fact that she managed
to purchase a wine farm and make a drinkable wine within two years of
doing so is remarkable. That her wine is today sold in major retailers
around the world is nothing short of astonishing.
Dreaming of change
story of the M’hudi wine farm starts in the North West Province in 1999
when she and her ‘armchair farmer’ husband started thinking about a new
life in farming through the government’s land redistribution programme.
the time, my family was scattered across the country and I wanted all
of us to be together in one place. I’d heard that the Land Bank was
providing a 20% collateral-free deposit for people interested in
farming,” she says. She started looking for land to buy, eventually
settling on a farm just outside Stellenbosch, attractive not because it
was a wine farm but because it had been discounted after being on the
market for five years.
“I had visited Cape Town before and driven
through the winelands, and I remember looking at people drinking coffee
in the street cafés and thinking what a lovely life they must lead. It
was only when I went back to look at the farm I wanted to buy that I
realised that the beautiful places I had seen were actually part of the
winelands, that wine was made by farmers and that the farm I was looking
at had originally been a wine farm,” she explains.
Article taken from Entrepreneur Magazine - Please click here to read complete article.