This month marks what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. For wine maker Philip Jonker, it’s also an opportunity to share the story of a special wine he made for the former president six years ago. "My wife, Lindelize, and I went to Robben Island for the tour and we saw the vines," he recalls. "They looked old; not from the 18th or 19th century but perhaps 50 or 60 years ago. I realised that everything else — the garden, the fruit trees — was dead. The only things living were the vines. One of them was dead and if nobody was going to look after the rest, they would die as well. And I thought that for future generations we had to look after them." At that moment the dream was born there but little did he know that it would take seven years before he would untangle all the red tape to get involved. And even when he had the go-ahead, there were more challenges ahead. "We tried to find out the specific white varietal but couldn’t get a good answer," Jonker says. "Initially ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now