Cape Venture Wine Co., founded by Walker Brown and Charles Brain, has launched its new label, “Lubanzi” which is available online, at www.lubanziwines.com and through distributors in the US. The Lubanzi label is comprised of two wines, a red blend, composed of Shiraz, Cinsault, Grenache & Mourvedre and a white, a Chenin Blanc. The wines will retail for $14.99 in stores and $18 online, and hail from South Africa -- one of the world’s largest wine-producing areas in the world.
Charles and Walker have lived in South Africa for nearly a year, and spent 3 months back in South Africa recently, collaborating on the development of Lubanzi with two excellent South African winemakers – Trizanne Barnard, an innovative female winemaker and Bruce Jack, a longtime South African wine legend. Lubanzi was created to be forward-thinking, socially responsible and innovative.
“South Africa is one of the world’s largest wine producers and probably the most underrated wine region of the world in the US market, and has been for some time, ” Brain said. “We want to change that and we think our generation [millennials] has the openness and power to do so.”
“Our goal is to offer well-crafted, everyday wine that punches above its weight and makes a difference in the lives of those who grow it, said Brown.”
Exploration is at the heart of Lubanzi – a brand that is named for a wandering dog who led the two founders on a 6 day, 100-mile hike across a remote part of South Africa called the Wild Coast.
Fifty percent of their profits will go towards The Pebbles Project, an NGO that works with low-income families who live and work on South Africa's wine farms. The Pebbles Project focuses on growing families by providing resources and improving access to health & high-quality education, allowing families to realize a horizon for success in life that extends far beyond their current view. The profits will, therefore, go directly to the families that work the fields to create Lubanzi wines.
“We created this to bring two worlds together, craft great wine, share adventures & make a difference. At the core of our story is a message that it’s not about what makes us different, it’s about what we have in common,” Brain said.
Walker and Charles both graduated from universities in the US in May, 2016 — Charles, from Vanderbilt (majoring in International Community Development), and Walker, from the University of Richmond (majoring in what was called PPEL - Philosophy, Politics, Economics & Law). During their junior years, they met each other as exchange students studying at the University of Cape Town and traveling around South Africa (Charles studied Social Work & Economics in Cape Town and Walker’s focus there was Political Science). They were both struck by their time in South Africa, fell in love with the country and the people, and became quite enamored with the wine.
Following their graduation here stateside, they decided to start a wine company, called Cape Venture Wine Co. and create their first label "Lubanzi." The name comes from one of their great adventures they had while traveling around South Africa as exchange students. They set off on a 20-hour bus ride along South Africa’s southern coast en route to a remote part of the country called the Wild Coast for a week long backpacking trip across the beautiful coastline. On the second day, a wandering dog, the locals called ‘Lubanzi’, began following them on their journey. He stuck with them throughout their adventure -- for 6 days & 100 miles -- until he disappeared on the night before their final morning.
“We want to provide a great bottle of wine that connects people with South Africa, accompanies great adventures and results in great stories,” Brown said. As long as those stories are being written, so is our mission.” “Everything about this project is cool. It has heart and soul, adventure and drama, charity and ambition, value and unbridled passion, Jack Bruce added.