A Heartfelt Thank You to the SA wine industry

A letter to everyone in the South African Wine Community,

When we set off for South Africa three months ago, it was, to us, embarking on a journey not only to a country we loved and remembered so fondly, but into an industry in which we thought we were certain to be seen as outsiders. 

The latter anxiety quickly disappeared for us. During our time here we discovered too many things to count about this business and met too many amazing people to make one feel as though this is only just an industry – it is, rather, a community. 

We’ve stepped into the doors of your homes and offices as young men, far from our own home, day after day, morning and night, and the enthusiasm and kindness with which we have been greeted, from our first day until our last, has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve sat across the table from so many of you who spend your days and nights striving to improve South Africa’s wine in so many different capacities, from the laborers without whom all of this would be impossible, to those social institutions who remain ever-committed to progress and inclusiveness, to farm owners and to exporters; the wisdom we have been afforded time and time again has not only altered and illuminated the way we see this country – it has also continually reinforced our belief that South African wine has a very bright future in America, our home, on the backs of all of you who labor so tirelessly to make it so.

It’s our deeply held conviction, and ultimately the driving force behind this journey, that wine is a deeply personal endeavor. A bottle of wine is so much more than the sum of its parts. It inherently reflects and possesses so many beautiful aspects of our human experience – a form of art and creativity that is created not by one man, but rather a blend of earth and individuals. From those who grow the grapes – investing their time and resources into a pursuit which we know is not often met with any grand financial reward –  to the distant customer at the end of the chain, there is emotion and happiness which wine can interject into our lives, a happiness from which we may all benefit. 

We are now embarking upon our return to the US, and feel so fortunate to leave with this knowledge and experience in tow, knowing that in carrying it with us, we are better for it in everything we do in the long years ahead. It remains our mission to show as many people as we can the beauty of South Africa, the beauty of its people, and the beauty of its wine.

Thank you so much for everything you have done; we only hope that we can do justice to the kindness and generosity which we have been shown.

Sincerely,

Walker Brown & Charles Brain
Creators of Lubanzi Wine

*see it published on wine.co.za, @ http://www.wine.co.za/news/news.aspx?NEWSID=2954

Charles Brain