M’Hudi Wines was the first black-owned, family-managed wine farm in South Africa. We speak to CEO Malmsey Rangaka about the journey this family has taken from being academics to wine producers
Almost a decade into democracy Malmsey Rangaka and her husband Diale
swapped academics for wine farming, but this was totally by fluke. They
bought a farm, and only realised afterwards in 2003, upon occupying the
land that it was a wine farm with vineyards.
“It was not a well-thought-out plan. My husband loves farming, he
comes from Phokeng and they had a farm with animals. He used to read
farming magazines, but we did not plan to be wine farmers.”
It so happened that with their family living across the country
either due to study or work, the Rangakas were looking for a place of
serenity, where their family could spend time together. And the ideal
place would be a farm, they thought.
“I said, we don’t have any farming experience, so whatever farm we
get must be in an environment with support, must be a going concern and
it must be something we’re passionate about.”
After looking at 21 farms, the Rangakas fell in love with a farm in
Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape, which has now become the home of
M’Hudi Wines. It became the first wine farm and BEE winery to be owned
and managed by a black family. The name M’hudi is derived from the Setswana word “Mohudi” meaning “Harvester”.
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