Care for Wild Wines: The Wine Brand Helping to Save Endangered Rhinos
If Covid has taught us anything, it has made us appreciate the world around us and reflect upon what we have previously taken for granted. It has been a good time to take stock and recognise that we need to make changes if we want to leave the next generation with the legacy of a more compassionate world. However, months of lockdown have taken their toll. Now, more than ever we feel that we deserve to treat ourselves. But, the purchases we make can be more than just self-indulgences. We can also spoil ourselves while supporting deserving causes.
This is why, here at Slurp, we are thrilled to bring you the new Care for Wild range of wines. The Care for Wild Wine Collection is launching this month with the aim of showcasing excellent wines from South Africa while supporting a charity which rescues and rehabilitates orphaned baby rhinos before releasing them back into the wild.
The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary was established by Petronel Nieuwoudt, the experienced conservationalist, as a response to South Africa’s poaching crisis. Rhinoceroses were being systematically and brutally killed to meet the demand for bogus medicines made from rhino horn. As a consequence, many defenceless, orphaned rhino calves were being left behind with no chance of survival. Since its foundation, the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary has rescued more than 80 orphaned rhinos, effectively helping to save South Africa’s black and white rhinos from extinction.
The charity's (and Petronel’s) vision doesn’t end there. The Care for Wild team’s aim for the future is to continue protecting endangered rhinos (as well as other animals affected by poaching) which takes a great deal of time, money and effort. However, it is also committed to involving neighbouring communities in its important work, employing locals who would otherwise struggle to find jobs because of the region’s high unemployment rate. In addition, the Rhino Sanctuary is working towards becoming as self-sustaining and eco-friendly as possible.
The idea for Care for Wild Wines was born last December when Robin Copestick, the managing director of the innovative wine company Freixenet Copestick, was seated next to former England cricketer, Darren Gough, at a charity fundraiser. Darren, who is nicknamed “The Rhino” and is a huge supporter of Care for Wild’s work, shared the charity’s captivating story. It was immediately obvious to Robin that launching a range of South African wines would be the ideal way to increase awareness about the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary and would also boost South Africa’s beleaguered wine industry which has suffered from a host of setbacks in recent years including droughts, export restrictions and domestic alcohol bans.
The Care for Wild wines have been carefully crafted to showcase fine examples of South African winemaking at different price points. The entry level tier includes an easy-drinking, fresh Sauvignon Blanc with subtle citrus and tropical flavours and a soft, velvety red Pinotage/Shiraz blend. These are affordable mid-week treats that are perfect to savour after a long day at work.
The second tier in the range is the “Arthur” Range, named after a seriously injured, orphaned rhino that was brought to the Sanctuary in 2018. After months of specialist care, little Arthur finally recovered. The three wines in the Care for Wild Arthur Range are tributes to this brave, young rhino’s spirit and character. The range consists of a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend, a Syrah/Viognier blend and a delicate Pinotage rosé (with a splash of Chenin Blanc). Both the white and the red wines in this range are from the up-and-coming coastal winemaking region of Walker Bay, which has one of the coolest climates in South Africa. Cooling ocean breezes help to slow down the ripening process of the grapes so that they can develop concentrated flavours while still retaining a refreshing acidity. If you are looking for a gift to take along to a dinner party, any of the Arthur range of wines would make excellent choices.
Finally, the premium wines in the Care for Wild collection are the Protected Collection Chenin Blanc and the Protected Collection Shiraz. The Protected Collection Bushvine Chenin Blanc is fermented in barrel, giving South Africa’s signature white grape varietal a rich, smooth creaminess which compliments its zingy acidity and delicate flavours of apricot and peach. It is produced in the dry region of Swartland which specialises in crafting concentrated, fruit-driven wines. The Protected Collection Shiraz is rich with hints of pepper and offers a soft velvety finish. Made in Elgin, a cool corner of the Western Cape just east of Stellenbosch, this wine is a delicious halfway house between an elegant, savoury Syrah from the Northern Rhône and a powerful, brooding, full-bodied Australian Shiraz. Both the Protected Collection Bushvine Chenin Blanc and the Protected Collection Shiraz are exceptional, special occasion wines which demonstrate what can be achieved by South Africa’s most dynamic winemakers.
With Darren Gough as a brand ambassador, this exciting new brand will play a fundamental role in supporting Care for Wild’s mission to protect rhinos and help South African communities. In the words of Care for Wild’s founder Petronel Nieuwoudt, “Is it not all of our responsibility to ensure a future for generations to come?” With 20% of the profits from each bottle of Care for Wild wine being donated to this inspirational charity, we can all indulge in some delicious South African wines knowing that we are also doing our little bit to help secure the future of the South Africa’s majestic white and black rhinos.
By Catherine Fielden