Raising a glass of wine and making a toast has become such a common global gesture of celebration, goodwill and act of unison. Wine has been a favorite drink for many since time immemorial and behind every clink of wineglasses and a shout of ” A ta sante” are the inevitable good vibes that accompany wines.
From the biblical wedding at Cana where water was changed into wine, to Andre Simon claiming that ‘wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant and everyday more civilized’, the legend of the wine continues.
This week we raise our glasses and toast to an expert in the field of wine-making, to put it in simple terms.
Our Person of the Week is an enterprising 29-year old Zimbabwean who has not only studied eonology; the science and study of winemaking, but has risen to become a wine connoisseur of note and proud founder of Rwendo Wines.
Carolione Madziwa has become one of the most talked about names in recent times due to the sheer brilliance of her wine ranges and apparent enterpreneurial flair.
The bubbly Cape Town based entrepreneur is a member of the prestigious BLACC wine organization in South Africa and its on the Executive Committee of Blackfordby Graduates Union. Caroline’s journey into the delightful and specialized world of wines came about after early interests in agriculture, inspired by a strong farming background in her family, which ultimately led to the formation of Rwendo Wines.
“I grew up on our family farm and my interest in farming grew over the years until I enrolled to study Agriculture at Blackfordby College. I am the first born child in our family and I had hopes to take over the reigns one day. I can safely say that farming runs in our family. My younger sister Tinashe Christabell who is co-founder and manager at Rwendo Wines also has extensive experience in horticulture, among her other accomplishments,” said Caroline. As she went about to map her path in farming and agriculture, Caroline also had to endure a frustrating period of having no access to farm land following some family
developments. The desire to follow her choice kept nudging her in the direction of her goals though.
“There was a time when the future became blank for me and I was stuck in a bleak existence. I tried knocking on so many doors but time was running out and almost everyone that I went to school with was doing something meaningful with their lives. This is when I decided to break new grounds and moved to Cape Town where I diversified into eonology; wine studies.”
Discovering the world of wine making was such a delightful experience for Caroline which she easily ranks as one of her favorite career moments. Learning the trade and mastering the basics soon led her to spreading her wings and eventually making her past struggles a stepping stone as she founded Rwendo Wines.
Rwendo means, a journey, in the Shona language and signify the personal narrative of the founder who had to trek across personal challenges to achieve her goal. Her range of wines have been well recieved and applauded for their subtle undertones and distinct qualities.
“The Journey is inspired by real life struggles. I chose that name because it describes the journey that we travelled and all the hardships we encountered, the obstacles we overcame and the goals we aim to achieve. We wanted a name that everyone could relate to since we are all in a life journey,” said Caroline.
“The feedback to our wines has been so overwhelming. People are falling in love with the product, even though there are some who are so used to the generic wines who try to question why our wines are different from the ones they are used to. We accept all and take it upon ourselves to share the vision and thought behind our products and define the journey. The journey is full of hurdles but that is what we signed up for, right?” she added with a laugh.
A journey in business is undoubtedly challenging but Madziwa affirms her belief and resolution in keeping on pushing as she considers past challenges and triumphs as evidence that there is calm after every storm.
Currently Rwendo Wines are available in stores and upon order and Caroline and her team have bigger expansion dreams. “We intend to have our vineyards grown in Zimbabwe and have our wines pressed there too. In so doing, we hope to play our part in creating job opportunities and proudly
exporting the produce of our rich lands. We also intend to have our wines sold
worldwide and have Rwendo Wines as a part of the good times everywhere. We also want to teach everyone, even the inexperienced about wines.”
Speaking of the inexperienced when it comes to wines, Caroline had a few tips for wine lovers and general occassions where a bottle of wine might pop up.
“There are few basic tips to follow when choosing a wine. This is helpful even for novices as well. First thing you do is to consider the occassion; different wines cater to different occassions. Knowing the basics is next, followed by a crucial point; always read the label and the tasting notes to know what caters to your palate. Then finally, always ask for help, whether in doubt or just to know more about your choice.”
Life is a continuous journey towards each one’s destiny but it certainly becomes lighter and more enjoyable with an occassional sip of wine for all moments. Once more, we celebrate the ongoing beautiful story that is Rwendo Wines and wish them all the best in their journey.