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The story behind Lobola wines

By Londiwe Dlomo | Feb 18, 2016 |

  • Anelise Taljaard with a guest at the launch of Lobola wines Picture: Supplied

  • Guests at the launch of Lobola wines Picture: Supplied

  • Anelise Taljaard owner of Lobola wines Picture: Supplied

  • Lobola wines gift box Picture: Supplied

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What’s in a name? We spoke to the owner of Lobola wines and found out

‘’I’m a white person, when I go and look at somebody’s else’s culture, I have to make sure I know exactly what I’m doing and I have to treat it with respect and integrity. The worst thing I could do was to go and make a wine and put on a name from my point of view without taking into consideration something that is precious to them ’’

These words belong to Anelise Taljaard, we’ve just sat down to discuss her use of the name Lobola for her wine and whether she had been worried about people not appreciating her use of the name. 

Taljaard is dressed in a multicoloured cardigan that speaks volumes about her personality; she’s energetic and passionate as she talks about how she started Lobola and her motivations for the name. 

Wine making is a family business and when the work of project management in the telecommunications arena became less challenging, she took up the reins at the family farm and put her keen intelligence to use by finding a gap in the wine market her own line of wines could grow with.

The 41-year old mother of two, who’s married to her ‘IT geek’ sweetheart, as she refers to him, realised that a new consumer was entering the wine market and that is the young black professional. 

‘’We as winemakers have an obligation to look after that market, to listen to that market and to understand exactly what it is that we need to bring into the market for them. ’’

Having found the gap, Taljaard then did research by visiting various liquor stores, speaking to friends and former colleagues, analysing the wine buying patterns of her market and attending various wine tastings and clubs.

Lobola offers a red which is a Cabernet/Shiraz and a white an elegant Chardonnay/Chenin made by their highly acclaimed wine maker Teddy Hall. The bottle is corked because in fitting with the Lobola  theme which is about tradition, and what is more traditional then  a corked wine bottle?

Taljaard  opted for the name Lobola not only because she wanted to attract the young black market but because  she wanted a wine that all south Africans can relate to. 

“Lobola is practised by all the different cultures, it’s associated with celebration and also associated with two families having to come together to discuss and negotiate how they will be operating as a single family  going forward. So it’s all about people getting to know each other, all about people celebrating something beautiful and that’s what I love about Lobola.”

The wine bottle has a declaration on the back to all South Africans who believe that our unity stems from our diversity. 

When asked about whether she hadn’t been afraid that the name would  seem like she’s removing white people from the equation she said that no, on the contrary a lot of white people loved the name so much they’d started making presents of the wine to their in-laws.

Taljaard proclaims that she gets goose bumps just talking about the wonderful responses she’s received from people. Imagine, she beams, having visitors from overseas and offering them Lobola and then telling them the tradition behind it?

It is quite certainly a conversation starter. 

Some facts and tips on wine

The difference between a boutique wine and mass produced wine is how much juice is pressed out of the grapes, boutique- 600 l a ton, other everything they can.

White wine is separated from skin and stalks – red wine the skins are left in which gives the wine that tart taste.

Grapes are harvested by machine or hand, the higher the vineyard more suitable for machine, the lower the vineyard better by hand.

Want to become a connoisseur?

Find the taste that you like, be honest with yourself. 

Try one new wine a week, this way you expand your palette and you figure out what you like.

Join a wine club, most times professionals come and present to the wine clubs and you get all their expertise and advice for a bargain. 

When eating out at a restaurant that has a sommelier, the best cause would be to ask for the sommeliers advice on which wine should you pair with the food you’ve ordered, also let him know how much you’re prepared to pay.

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