2021 Lubanzi The RainBoat Pet’Nat
Region: Swartland > Western Cape > South Africa
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming, natural fermentation in stainless steel, bottled unfiltered, unfined, & undisgorged, with no added SO2; zero-zero; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Trizanne Barnard
Before we even start to talk about the wine, we’re going to need to share the story of the Lubanzi winery. ‘Lubanzi’ is the name of a dog – we know, there are tons of wineries named after dogs – but this one is seriously different. Named after a wandering dog that accompanied founders Walker Brown and Charles Brain, on a 100 mile hike along the South African coast, three years before they even founded the winery, we see that the duo’s endeavor is no ordinary wine project. From their mission statement:
‘We believe in the power of business to change the world — to change the way people think, to better our earth, to shift supply chains toward better balance, especially for those at the beginning of them, and to share stories that can remind us, that as a collective, we can be an incredible engine for equity, for inclusivity, and for justice.’
And they have followed through with their aspirations, building their business around community partnerships. As Americans they knew they would need local knowledge in order to be successful so immediately tapped a winemaker with expertise in Swartland - Trizanne Barnard. Trizanne hails from the small surf village of Kommetjie ('cawma-key') on the cape's southern peninsula, just a short drive from Cape Town, She is an excellent mother, winemaker, and surfer. A graduate of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, Trizanne worked vintages in Australia, France & Portugal before bringing her talents back home to South Africa. They are also proud to make Fair For Life Fair Trade Certified© wines & be a B Corp Certified business. They are committed to sustainability and are a certified 1% For The Planet business. They've also pledged 50% of their net profits to the Pebbles Project, an NGO that works with the low-income families who live and work on South Africa's wine farms, supporting families by providing resources & improving access to high-quality health care & education.
We love the story but we also love the wine, which is made with little intervention and no additions at all, not even SO2. It’s super dark pink and a little cloudy with a citrusy and slightly sour effervescence. A little like kombucha, in a good way! It has lots of bright cherry, and strawberry too - so refreshing! There is plenty to enjoy about with the wine, but we are also happy to spread the word about Lubanzi and the way they’ve reimagined how a winery can interact with the community and supply chain. Plenty of reasons to have several bottles on hand to share!