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Black-owned vineyards are on the rise
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Rydal Jeftha used to spend two hours a day driving to a job at a wine estate just outside Stellenbosch, north of Cape Town.

Now, as a partial owner of a winery, Mr. Jeftha, who is black, has a vineyard home of his own. He wakes up to a bedroom view of mist rolling off Table Mountain. His commute is a half-mile stroll to his office at Koopmanskloof, a 1,700-acre vineyard that is among a new crop of black-owned winemaking operations in South Africa.

He lives with his wife and two of his three children in a three-bedroom renovated farm-manager’s house set amid palm trees.

“It’s paradise,” says Mr. Jeftha, managing director of the vineyard’s workers’ collective.

The collective has held a majority share of Koopmanskloof since 2007, when the winery’s white former owner, Stewie Smit, transferred 51% of the company to his staff—at no charge—shortly before his death. Mr. Jeftha, who oversaw the transition, owns a third of the enterprise as part of that collective.

The company, he says, has had a small profit the past two years. He plans some day to hold wine tastings in the vineyard’s 18th-century barn or in its oak-barrel filled cellar, as the property is upgraded.

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Tel: +27.218652355   Fax: +27.865607145   Email: info@koopmanskloof.co.za  
P.O. Box 19, Koelenhof, 7605, South Africa