In 2012, worried by the plight of the rhinos and spurred on by their shared passion for wine, Paula Sher and Charise Matthews came up with an eco-saving brand: Rhino Wines SA. It combines delicious wines with a donation to help protect the rhinos.
Paula and Charise approached Excelsior Estate and asked to work with us. Simultaneously, they approached TRAFFIC – The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, a joint programme of ICUN and WWF and the wine was launched end-November 2013.
Rhino poaching is at an all-time high in South Africa; 553 rhinos have been killed since January this year for their horns. That’s a huge and worrying escalation up from 13 unnecessary rhino deaths in 2007. The hardest hit has been Kruger National Park where 296 rhinos were poached in 2012. High demand for rhino horn from Asia, in particular Viet Nam, is considered to be the driving force leading to the rhino poaching crisis.
In August, TRAFFIC launched “The South Africa – Vietnam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus: A deadly combination of institutional lapses, corrupt wildlife industry professionals and Asian crime syndicates”, (PDF, 4 MB) a key report examining the nature of the illegal trade in rhino horn from South Africa to Vietnam.
“The philosophy behind the Rhino Wine SA brand is for consumers to gain awareness of the crisis facing rhinos, raise funds for TRAFFIC’s conservation efforts, while at the same time enjoying a glass of vino with a cause (responsibly, of course!),” said Charise Matthews for Rhino Wine SA.
The wine range is produced and bottled by Excelsior and includes a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and a 2012 Shiraz/ Merlot/ Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
Rhino Wines SA donate R2 from every bottle of wine and in May were able to give their first donation of R5,000 to TRAFFIC. “Rhino Wines SA’s support is warmly welcomed by TRAFFIC for our efforts to help bring about an end to the poaching crisis facing the rhino, one of South Africa’s national icons,” said David Newton, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in East and Southern Africa.
At the moment Rhino Wines are available in a few restaurants, bottle stores and selected Spar outlets in the Western Cape as well as in the Kruger National Park. But Paula and Charise are working with the Spar Group to drive a campaign, highlighting the plight of the rhinos, and the wine will soon be available across the country.
It’s a win-win initiative – enjoy a glass of delicious Excelsior wine while feeling good about supporting anti-poaching measures.
For more information or to buy Rhino Wine contact: