Supporting Greater Diversity and Inclusivity in Wine

During the first Lockdown last year Cassidy Dart MW found himself stranded in South Africa for four months. By chance he met Inika Minnie, a popular Instagrammer, wine lover and graphic designer, and learned about the huge difficulties she’d faced in completing her recent WSET qualifications. Her experience reflected the wider issues faced by South Africans pursuing an interest, let alone a career, in the South African wine industry, where a sharp lack of diversity has polarised recruitment. For a UK student, attending a wine course is relatively straightforward, for many South Africans it’s loaded with potential hazards and worries – how will they get to the school, will there be anything to eat at lunchtime, will there be electricity at home that evening so that they can study?

Cassidy and Inika realised that between them they had the talent and resources to create something that could drive some positive change, and so KUNYE was born.

KUNYE, meaning “together” in Xhosa, is a non-profit wine brand that celebrates the diversity of the South African landscape. All profits generated from the KUNYE wine sales will be placed into a scholarship fund to assist people from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa to forge a career in the wine industry.

It is hoped that, over time, greater professionalism in the wine business will encourage a broader and more inclusive wine industry for all South Africans, both from a commercial and consumer perspective. To further underpin this the tag on each bottle leads you via a QR code to a free e-book that aims to demystify wine – it’s available in English but also Xhosa, the first time that a wine publication has ever been made available in South Africa’s most widely distributed language.

Inika’s striking labels capture the myriad historical, cultural and geological influences that make up the South African wine scene in the 21st century. She explains, “Each of the squares on the label depicts a part of the history and hope for South African wine. The vines being brought across the seas, our beautiful mountains and landscapes, the diversity of our people and cultures, and the ongoing friction as we find a way to accept and appreciate each other under the constant gaze of the African sun.”

This first edition of Kunye centres on a Swartland Chenin Blanc and Syrah, both aimed at refreshing, unpretentious enjoyment.

Kunye Syrah 2019

Kunye Syrah

The Kunye Swartland Syrah is a fragrant, peppery, fynbos infused, medium bodied Syrah.

Kunye Chenin 2020

Kunye Chenin Blanc

The Kunye Chenin Blanc, sourced from the Swartland, is a textured wine, with notes of apple-skin and guava…slightly tropical yet buttressed with a fresh, ripe acidity.

South Africa’s Kunye: on driving diversity at home & abroad

Kunye is a wine brand that hopes to encapsulate the changes that are needed both in South Africa and around the world.

“Let me tell you a story… I have taken minibus taxis to Stellenbosch and you get to the point where you suddenly realise it’s changed to agricultural land. You see this beautiful landscape: more greenery, more yellow fields, and just before you enter Stellenbosch, the taxi goes up through a township called Kayamandi. A lot of people that work in the wine industry”… Read more

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