Homegrown Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines boasts global recognition and is now available in New York

Entrepreneur Lindile Ndzaba

Entrepreneur Lindile Ndzaba

Published Aug 1, 2022


Cape Town - Popular home-grown brand Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines has gained global recognition and is now available at a wine store in New York City.

Founded by Khayelitsha-born entrepreneur Lindile Ndzaba in 2018, the brand produces quality and affordable wines sourced from local wine producers across the province.

The 36-year-old who entered the hospitality industry in 2009 as a dishwasher said he was surprised by the difference in the quality of the wines served in the shebeens and taverns in Khayelitsha.

“The wine is so bad in most places in the township that people have to mix it with Coke so they can drink it,” he said.

It was this that spurred the idea of bringing quality wine to his community and the popular brand was launched.

Now a New York-based wine store called West Side wine is boasting the wine collection.

The store which supports small wine producers had reached out to Ndzaba during the pandemic.

He told the Cape Times on Sunday it was a dream come true to put Khayelitsha’s name on the map.

“This is how I envisioned the future of the brand. There has been a lot of positive feedback, a lot of places have been reaching out to export the wine. People are really impressed and are really receiving it well. It’s important to have underprivileged communities like Khayelitsha recognised globally in a positive light,” he said.

Ndzaba said he aims to grow the brand even more on the African continent and educate more people about the wine culture.

“Wine is still very intimidating for people of colour. We don’t celebrate the wine culture as we should. There are some people who have asked me how I can sell wine when I don’t own a vineyard. So there is still some resistance and lack of knowledge in that aspect, but people are slowly warming up to what we do,” said Ndzaba.

Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines also runs several feeding schemes in the community.

Ndzaba said his next venture is a tasting room which will also attract tourists to the community.

“We want to showcase that our community is not only about violence and the bad, but there are beautiful things that are happening inside our community,” he said.

The brand works directly with winemakers and vineyards, including The Fledge & Company and Saxenburg Wine Estate among others.

Leon Coetzee of Fledge & Company said Ndzaba was doing an incredible job in democratising fine wine for everyone.

“We’re very happy to be a part of the Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines journey and that hand crafted South African wines are leaving the shores. Lindile is involved with the blending and creating bespoke, high quality wines for the local and also foreign wine lovers. Both Lindile and myself are from the Eastern Cape, so it’s quite something that the wines are created and crafted by folks who grew up in non-wine areas and now goes across the world,” he said.

Cape Times

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KhayelitshaCape Town