M’hudi Wines: Break­ing trans­for­ma­tion bar­ri­ers

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - BY Lamee z Omar­jee

Twelve years ago Malm­sey Ran­gaka, a trained clin­i­cal ps y c holog is t , pu r s ued a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity in wine farm­ing. Known as the force be­hind M’hudi Wines, she and her hus­band Diale are the pi­o­neer­ing en­trepreneurs head­ing South Africa’s first black-owned wine farm.

Over the past decade, M’hudi Wines, lo­cated 15km out­side Stel­len­bosch, has grown into a three-tiered busi­ness. The wine side of the busi­ness, as Ran­gaka ex­plains, boasts three ranges of wine: the Plat­inum brand, the Say Lovey brand, launched in 2014, and the sparkling wine brand known as ‘Palesa’. M’hudi re­cently re­ceived t wo Pre­mium Awards from South African Air­ways for its red wines.

Be­yond wine, the busi­ness is also in­volved in fruit pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing guavas, and tourism. It now boasts a wine-tast­ing fa­cil­ity, bed and break­fast and a venue to host dances.

De­spite the busi­ness’s rapid growth, Ran­gaka says they never an­tic­i­pated this suc­cess when they bought the farm through the Land Bank in 2003. Ini­tially, they just farmed fruit and by 2005 they had pro­duced their first wine.

“We started with noth­ing ba­si­cally, other than our sav­ings, our pen­sions and our home, which we gave to the bank,” says Ran­gaka. The fam­ily had to learn about wine-farm­ing along the way. She says it was dif­fi­cult to f ind ac­cep­tance in the in­dus­try es­pe­cially from in­dus­try play­ers. “We had to take our brand out there and we still had to con­vince the con­sumer that our wine is as good as the wine of our neigh­bour.”

Pen­e­trat­ing the lo­cal mar­ket proved

M’hudi wines is a fam­ily-run busi­ness with lo­cal and global mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion. Daugh­ter and lo­cal mar­keter

Three gen­er­a­tions of Ran­gaka women. Malm­sey, her daugh­ter Le­bo­gang and

grand­daugh­ter Kwena The Ran­gaka fam­ily head and viti­cul­tur­ist and ex­port mar­keter Daugh­ter-in-law and ad­min­is­tra­tive and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tant Ma­tri­arch and CEO of M’hudi Wines

Grand­daugh­ter Son and mar­ket­ing manager Two of the M’hudi wine brands avail­able on the mar­ket, Plat­inum and Say Lovey.

Rae-Leigh Ado­nis

Diale Ram­gaka

Le­bo­gang Ran­gaka

Malm­sey Ran­gaka

Senyane Ran­gaka

Kwena Ran­gaka

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