Good Deeds:

What if we told you that you could con­trib­ute to some­thing great just by en­joy­ing some wine?

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Contents - BY ROSIE CASS

Wine that gives back

Wine, phi­lan­thropy and Cape Town have long in­ter­min­gled in ANNA HART’S world. It’s true now more than ever after her re­lo­ca­tion with her chil­dren to the “Mother City”, start­ing the Rhino Ridge Wine Com­pany and this year’s launch of her Anna-carin Méth­ode Cap Clas­sique wine.

Anna first vis­ited Cape Town more than 20 years ago while based in Hong Kong. The beauty of the area, friends and fam­ily, the cul­ture and, of course, the wine, kept Anna com­ing back year after year. Fast for­ward to June 2016 and, after nine years of liv­ing in Sin­ga­pore, cir­cum­stances pre­sented the op­por­tu­nity to move to Cape Town. She chose the small beach sub­urb of No­ord­hoek to set up home.

Dur­ing her first year in No­ord­hoek, Anna was in­tro­duced to sev­eral vine­yards and wine­mak­ers while at events to pro­mote non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Room to Read. “I’ve had many dis­cus­sions over the years with wine lovers in Asia about South African wines and why they weren’t more promi­nently avail­able in Asian mar­kets.”

Then, at a neigh­bour’s birth­day party, Anna was treated to some lovely Méth­ode Cap Clas­sique wine (South African sparkling wine made us­ing the French cham­pagne method). Her host told her about his own la­bel that he ex­ported to China. An in­tro­duc­tion and visit to his wine­maker fol­lowed, and Anna-carin Méth­ode Cap Clas­sique was born. “It came to­gether very quickly and or­gan­i­cally. I de­cided to cre­ate the Rhino Ridge Wine Com­pany to dis­trib­ute my own la­bel, but also to find the hid­den gems from South Africa’s 400-year-old wine in­dus­try and bring them to Asia.”

It was im­por­tant for Anna to in­te­grate her com­mit­ment to and pas­sion for Room to Read into her business. Do­nat­ing five per­cent of each bot­tle sold, re­gard­less of whole­sale or re­tail pric­ing, to sup­port lit­er­acy and gen­der equal­ity ini­tia­tives in South Africa al­lowed her to do this. “I be­lieve in con­scious cap­i­tal­ism,” she says. “We can build brands by in­cor­po­rat­ing a pur­pose into our prod­uct, which helps bond with our cus­tomers and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where cause and prof­itabil­ity can go hand in hand.”

Room to Read

In our Au­gust 2009 is­sue of Ex­pat Liv­ing, we fea­tured a story about Room to Read, and the global NGO’S Sin­ga­pore vol­un­teer chap­ter that was founded by Anna, to­gether with Ann Row­ell. The or­gan­i­sa­tion was built on the premise that all chil­dren can pur­sue a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion that en­ables them to reach their full po­ten­tial and con­trib­ute to their com­mu­ni­ties and the world. To date, it has ben­e­fit­ted 12.4 mil­lion chil­dren in seven coun­tries in Asia and three in Africa.

Anna and Ann co-chaired the Sin­ga­pore chap­ter’s first two wine galas in 2009 and 2010, and Anna sub­se­quently chaired count­less func­tions and fundrais­ers; in April this year, the tenth-an­niver­sary gala was held at the St. Regis Ho­tel. Mil­lions of dol­lars have been raised by the gen­er­ous Sin­ga­pore com­mu­nity; in fact, it’s one of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s top giv­ing cities. “It’s been an ex­cep­tional hon­our to be a small part of the in­cred­i­ble story of Room to Read,” says Anna. “I’ve worked with hun­dreds of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers over the years. Not be­ing able to be di­rectly in­volved with the Asia chap­ters any­more, but be­ing able to sell my wines to sup­port them is in­cred­i­ble for me.”

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