The House of Mandela was started in 2010 by Nelson Mandela’s oldest daughter, Makaziwe, and his granddaughter, Tukwini, to perpetuate his legacy. It was an honor to meet both of them in New York as they introduced 3 of their wines and a wonderful prelude to our upcoming tour to South Africa.
I found out that Nelson’s tribal name translates as “honey bee” which is picked up as a symbol in the label of their sauvignon blanc, a honey bee being tenacious and fearless as it seeks honey.
The House of Mandela does not actually own any vineyards but rather enters into contracts with wineries, mostly in Paarl. Besides the sauvignon blanc, we also tasted the chenin blanc/chardonnay blend, the cab/merlot blend and their reserve Shiraz. I personally thought that the reds showed very well with good varietal character. The whites were out of balance and needed a more acid backbone.
This was an event paired with the French Cheese Board which promotes French cheeses in the States. You can check their site for some excellent information on all of the cheese regions in France.