FRANSCHHOEK VALLEY, SOUTH AFRICA
With a history going back over three centuries, it was in 2002 that Mark Solms, a world-renowned neuroscientist, started to revitalise the historic Delta wine estate. Starting by planting Rhone grape varieties, ideally suited to the Franschhoek region, his aim was to develop a unique South African style.
Another thing he introduced was the old vineyard practice of desiccation, clamping the grapes on the vines so nothing passes from the vine into the berry, resulting in the grape dehydrating on the vine, producing intense, concentrated wines.
With his business partner, Richard Astor, they formed a trust that supports the the traditional disadvantaged farm workers. This trust has an equal (one third) share in the company, and then profits are directed to refurbishing the farm residents homes, contributing to their health care and educating their children, offering them a way out of the cycle their parents may have been caught in where the children of the farm workers don't have any other option but to remain on the farm.