In 1918, the year Nelson Mandela was born, South African wine farmers founded KWV (Ko-operatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika). The aim was to stabilise a young, but promising, industry.

100 years later, KWV is physically the largest wine cellar in the Southern Hemisphere, it offers a portfolio of globally award winning wines and spirits, an array of sophisticated wine brands and the best Brandy in the world to date.


A visit to the KWV cellars and Wine Emporium is a walkabout through this vibrant, young history that is in constant change and evolvement.

The two most remarkable changes occurred to our liking in recent times are located on the unaccepted end of the spectrum from an industrial giant.

The one is The Mentors range of wines: born out of the experimental nature of the industry and KWV’s obligation to tutor and nurture young wine makers. What started as an inner secret to re-examine methods and abilities, has evolved into a creation of a limited addition of barrel fermented wine brand that offers a slightly different range every year.

Relying on the diversity of farms and terroirs, the KWV source their grapes from vines and grapes of high quality in a specific year and are identified even before harvest by the viticulturist and later attended to in a dedicated section in the winery, by one of the head wine makers in a boutique style manner. The outcome, although being limited in quantity, is a great source of pride for the producer, repeatedly achieving some of the highest possible scores by wine evaluators from around the word.

The other, recent change is the embrace of diversity among visitors and social drinkers.

For designated drivers or non-alcoholic visitors for either health or religious causes, KWV wine emporium offers a specially designed Tea & Chocolate pairing to keep everyone part of the overall experience.

For outside party goers, KWV Non-Alcoholic portfolio include drinks that are made without any alcohol and are the perfect accompaniment for Mocktails and zero-alcohol occasions. Their Pearly Bay range includes a sparkling grape juice and the Fruit Lagoon is a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail base. It is made from fresh fruit and is completely fat and lactose free, to name a few.

Happy drinking, as always.