Part Three - The people and the culture
As my South African narrative came to its end I spent the last few days tasting with a group called Blacc. Friendship, support, knowledge, goals, professional, community are just a few words that come to mind when I try to describe what Blacc is. It’s a support group of mostly black professionals who work in the wine and spirits industry. Every Monday the group charters a couple buses and travels to a wine farm or distillery to learn and taste. My first trip with Blacc I was completely nervous. I felt like I was entering a world of wine scholars. Would they like me? Are my tasting skills equal to theirs? When I showed up I was welcomed with smiling faces and hugs. It was inspiring to be included in a group of people who take so much pride in their profession and are eager to learn. I found my network and my friend circle all in one. The fact that wineries open their doors with amazing food and wine also helped!
I left South Africa two weeks later than planned. It was hard to end my adventure. The last weekend of my stay I had a dinner party at my apartment to thank my new South African friends for a great adventure. As I looked around the room at the attendees I realized I had met so many new friends with diverse backgrounds. I don’t mean to name drop, however it’s important to share a bit of each of their stories because often times people don’t realize there are people who are proudly African ,make a positive impact on the continent and are happy and prosperous in Africa. There was the poet-professor, Diana Ferrus. There was a model turn talent agent, the bar manager from one of the hottest hip hop clubs, two top Sommeliers, the restaurant manager from one of the top hotels in Cape Town, a classically trained pianist, and even a few American friends I met while in Cape Town.
I hired a local chef to cook a Traditional African meal; grilled meats, Chakalaka and Pap. We shared a half case of wine I bought with me from America. For some it was there first time having a California Cabernet. With only background music we sat in my apartment, ate and talked about everything from history, current events, the effects of Apartheid and even dating. At the end of the night Diana Ferrus recited her famous poem “Sara, I am Tara
I've come to take you home – home, remember the veld?” . It is about Sarah Baartman the first recorded story of a woman abducted to work as a sex slave.
My African adventure story finally ended, I returned to America with a few cases South Africa wine and new international friends I collected along my journey. I went back to my corporate America narrative forever changed and my soul full of positive vibes. I feel excited to have witnessed first hand how the story of South African wine and people transform the way people all over the world think about Africa .
Tuanni Price, the owner of Zuri Wine Tasting. A wine Enthusiast and adventurer, loves everything about the wine experience