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The colourful taste of the winelands

The colourful taste of the Winelands

The colourful taste of the Winelands

There is a wind of change blowing through the South African vineyards and restaurants. A new generation of black winegrowers and chefs - male and female - is joining the business.

For black people, the history of wine in the Cape has been largely one of harsh and badly paid manual labour. Many were paid in wine, and alcoholism among workers was rife. The practice has been banned since the end of apartheid.

During colonial times and apartheid blacks were confined to working as “scullery boys/maid”. There was no education and black chefs had to works their way up learning through repetition.

Since the end of apartheid there has been a change in the hospitality business in South Africa with more focus on training apprenticeships in kitchens. Well knowing that such system is Not the official policy. This change is also starting reflect on menus. Local chefs are cooking up indigenous meals, often using recipes from other South African communities, merging a new fusion cuisine. read also… The Cape Cuisine - rainbow of the cultures

In the wine business a new class of winegrowers is emerging in South Africa with blacks or coloureds, many of whom once worked the land, now taking over top positions in the vineyards in an industry dominated for centuries by whites. One change in the market dynamics that has favoured all South African winemakers is that the country's black majority is increasingly selecting wine as a drink of choice.

Most of the black entrepreneurs in both businesses have benefited from various development programmes. But the real progress is made where sympathetic white owners and experts are co-operating with ambitious black colleagues.

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Ludger Pooth
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