Opening Of Seventeen87

Locals and tourists alike will now be able to enjoy the unique offering – from white wines to red, including rosé – of Seventeen87 in a small and intimate setting, the newly-opened wine cellar at Sugar Rush Park.

Celebrating the launch of the small but intimate Seventeen87 cellar at Sugar Rush park were tourism department acting CEO Phindile Makwakwa, KwaDukuza mayor Dolly Govender, Enterprise iLembe board chairperson, Khanyisani Shandu, Enterprise iLembe board member Thandi Nzama and viticulturist Daniel Maerkl.

It took more than 10 years to accomplish and millions of Rands in investment, but North Coast residents and tourists will finally be able to sip on a locally-produced coastal fine wine of their choice in our very own wine cellar.

Produced from grapes grown at Ndwedwe and Maphumulo where vineyards were started in 2010, the Ballito-based winery supported by Enterprise iLembe opened its doors on Monday evening. 

Locals and tourists alike will now be able to enjoy the unique offering – from white wines to red, including rosé – of Seventeen87 in a small and intimate setting, the newly-opened wine cellar at Sugar Rush Park.

It was a momentous achievement on Monday when Seventeen87 launched their cellar at Sugar Rush Park. Toasting to the opening is Enterprise iLembe board member, Zakhele Gumede, Enterprise iLembe board member, professor Thandi Nzama, Enterprise iLembe CEO, Nathi Nkomzwayo, KwaDukuza mayor Dolly Govender, iLembe District deputy mayor, Dolly Shandu and Enterprise iLembe board chairperson, Khanyisani Shandu.

The R19.5 million winery boasts the first wine of origin on the North Coast, and the name commemorates the birth-date of King Shaka Zulu.

Conducting the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Seventeen87 were iLembe District deputy mayor, Dolly Shandu, Enterprise iLembe board chairperson, Khanyisani Shandu, KwaDukuza mayor Dolly Govender and Enterprise iLembe CEO, Nathi Nkomzwayo.

Owing to the partnership between Seventeen87, Enterprise iLembe and the co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) department, the initiative has created dozens of jobs and is hoped will have a positive effect through tourism.

After receiving a round of applause for her election as first lady mayor of the municipality, KwaDukuza Mayor Dolly Govender said KwaDukuza now had unique bragging rights.

Seventeen87 – a collection that includes the following wines; Merlot, Rose, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

“We have wine right on our doorstep now, why go elsewhere?”

Nevin Davidson from Sugar Rush Park said they were excited about the partnership with Enterprise iLembe on the launch of the Seventeen87 Wine Cellar. 

Formerly of Cogta and now with Enterprise iLembe, Thuthu Ngcobo (left) was there in 2010 when the idea of a vineyard in KwaZulu-Natal was pitched, next to her is tourism department acting CEO, Phindile Makwakwa.

“The wine cellar adds another unique tourism experience to the many product offerings already on offer at the Park.”

Scrumptious food made the rounds as waiters of Sugar Rush Park’s Food Fundi saw to filling the empty bellies of guests at the launch of wine cellar, Seventeen87. Seen here is waiter Njabulo Mazibuko with co-owner, Jason Powell.

Project viticulturist, Daniel Maerkl said he had started planting grapes in October 2010.

They have found a cultivar which is resistant to humidity, Villard Blanc, which was ideal for the coastal climate.

The evening was also filled with the angelic voice of Zinhle Madela, an independent Afro-pop singer, songwriter, philanthropist and entrepreneur from Mandeni.

Since taking the plunge into Villard Blanc, more cultivars have been added to the range through outsourcing from Cathedral Peak Wine Estate.

The project, initially dubbed by those-in-the-know as a ‘set to fail’, has seen farms span three municipal areas and is able to produce 12 000 bottles per year.

Credit: North Coast Courier

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