Now this is something I can fully support - wine that helps save our precious, critically endangered rhinos? Yes please!
Rhino Tears, the product of Mount Vernon Estate in Cape Town, is no ordinary range of wine, of course, as the sales from the recently launched bottles have already raised over R100 000 for Unite Against Poaching to fund the relentless war against rhino poaching within our national parks.
So how did this stroke of brilliance come about? It all come to, erm, fruition after a meeting between two John's - Mount Vernon's MD, John Hooper, and Chairman of SANParks Honorary Rangers Conservation Services Unit, John Turner, and an Andre - owner of The Hat & Creek restaurants in Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa, Andre Nel. After some time spent together at the Kruger National Park, they came up with the ingenious idea for a wine to be sold exclusively to help fund anti-poaching efforts.
'The selling and marketing of wine is difficult and competitive, but it is rewarding. When an opportunity arises to mix work with pleasure, I jumped at the chance to give something back and spend time with good people fighting a worthy cause', says John Hooper. He realised that any old wine wasn't going to cut it - they needed an easy drinking, good quality and affordable wine that people could enjoy the world over and would purchase often - thereby earning more funding for the rhinos. 'Every bottle purchased really makes a difference. The costs of the anti-poaching war is expensive and the men and women involved need all the help they can get against a ruthless enemy.'
And the verdict? The Rhino Tears Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage blend is a well structured dry red, as suitable to relaxed late lunches as it is to a sit down dinner. Complex and rich, the blend offers a fruity nose of raspberry and strawberry.
I have to say though that my favourite of the two is the Rhino Tears Chenin Blanc. Fruity, light and refreshing, this dry white is zesty and great for sundowners over a light meal.
Available from all leading major and independent retailers for around R55 per bottle. R15 from each bottle goes directly to Unite Against Poaching while 100% of the funds raised through sales of Rhino Tears are used for anti-poaching projects in SANParks.