About us?

Kunye isn’t so much about the story of two people who want to share their respect and love for wine with all of South Africa, so much as we want Kunye to be a story about South Africa’s respect and love for wine.

What if every wine lover who believes that wine should be inclusive could be part of one big club. With the numbers to prove that there are more people like us, we can show the wine industry how many people want to see more diversity in the SA wine landscape.

Our Story

Cassidy and I (Cape of Good Wine) have never technically met. But almost every day for the past 5 months, in between the flurry of text messages and emails, we’ve spoken to each other on the phone. It’s because we share a vision. We share a belief that we can help make a meaningful difference to the South African wine landscape.

Instagram is my little hobby and a place where I’ve found a home amongst the online community of wine lovers across the globe. That’s how I met the MW stuck in Cape Town during the lockdown.

An Instagram Live led to us creating and hosting an introductory wine course for beginners. It was great fun. It was relaxed. It was casual. But the interactive nature of the webinar didn’t lend itself to being uploaded and shared without the context of the live audience.

No problem, we thought…we’d just export the presentation slides into a single PDF that we’d distribute to the participants….with a little added detail.

That extra detail became a book. Both Cassidy and I shared the same vision of sharing our wine knowledge and passion with all of South Africa’s wine lovers. ALL of them. We soon connected with Mlondolozi Phute, who is currently doing his PhD in Xhosa, and who graciously agreed to translate our book into Xhosa.

I’m not going to lie. I’m really proud that we’re the first to translate a consumer wine book into Xhosa. The first in the 360+ year history of winemaking in South Africa. None of this would have been possible without Mlondolozi and his incredible patience and desire to see the book being translated into Xhosa.

Once the Xhosa translation was decided, Cassidy and I wondered if there was even more we could do. Late one night, after our 3rd Wine Wise session, Cassidy pitched the idea of a scholarship fund. It was the ‘aha’ moment. From that point on, we never looked back.

We initially looked at finding investors, but the current climate in South Africa has seen wine producers brought to their knees by not being able to sell their wines during the alcohol ban. We had to find a different way. A self sustainable way forward that didn’t rely on investors.

Give the people what they want! After hearing about an estimated 300 million litres of surplus wine, we couldn’t deny the idea of using some of that wine to raise funds for our scholarship.

So there we were. Two people starting a wine brand that aims to do good. A wine brand that wants to make a difference. A wine brand where the profits are used to fund a scholarship for people of colour wanting to further their wine studies. But two people who have never sold wine before was, unsurprisingly, not successful. We spent 3 years trying many options and learning about how the wine business works.

There were so many generous people. Mentors, wine suppliers, and people, like you, who have been incredibly supportive and patient with us. Thank you!

But we reached the point where we realised that selling the wine brand to cover the remaining outstanding production costs was the most viable and responsible decision.

We still believe in the scholarship and are exploring alternative, more traditional ways of raising funds. Our core values have not changed. We still believe in easily accessible wine education. But, for now, we’ve reined in our lofty scholarship goals and are refocusing on growing a more diverse number of educated South African wine appreciators.

Kunye means together. Cassidy and I were only two people…but we got together to run a little wine workshop. We came together to write a wine book. And now, post pandemic, we’ll be meeting with a few of you to host in-person wine workshops, produce more educational material, and build little communities of wine appreciators who can nerd out on wine together.

Core Values

We’re proud to say that our core values have never waivered:

Growing the number of wine appreciators in South Africa

Through free basic wine education that will promote responsible wine appreciation

Contributing to a more diverse South African wine landscape

Through educating the public, and through the scholarship fund that supports previously disadvantaged people to further their wine education

Inspiring a new generation of wine lovers

Through our introductory material, we hope to inspire people to consider a career in wine