Carmen Stevens

Social contribution type wine. A portion of the profits from this wine are used to fund school feeding projects in the Western Cape.

Carmen wants to tell her children, "No matter how hard it is, your dreams will come true if you work hard." In fact, she grew up in a poor environment, but wine opened up her world. Anything is possible." A single mother who enjoys cooking and eating out with her two daughters when she is not working.

A new project by Carmen, a former brewer of amani wine

Carmen Stevens [ Stellenbosch district ]

[Established year] 2011

Carmen Stevens Wines was founded in 2011 and released its first vintage in 2014. Carmen was the first black person to learn the art of winemaking in South Africa and has been involved in the South African wine industry since 1995 when she qualified as an oenologist. In 2008, he won the trophy (world's best) in the Bordeaux red variety category of the Decanter World Wine Awards while working for Amani. In January 2019, it grew to become South Africa's first 100% black-owned winery.

Carmen buys grapes from vineyards in various regions of the Western Cape to make wine. The wine is rich, fruity, dense, feminine and New World style. This wine is an expression of her passion as a winemaker Carmen, and at the same time a sense of her mission as a project organizer to support the present and future of many poor children in the Western Cape. Carmen, with her bright, strong and beautiful eyes, is a petite and delicate woman, but she is a powerful person who always overcomes difficulties and moves forward. The tiger on the label is modeled after a picture that Caitlin, the eldest daughter, drew in elementary school when she was six years old.


[School lunch project]

A portion of the wine's profits and donations from various sources are used to fund school feeding projects in poorer areas of the Western Cape. When it was founded in 2011, it started by serving soup three times a week to three primary schools (400-500 students) in Belhar, Stellenbosch, where Carmen lived since she was 13. It now serves 25 communities, 53 schools and 10,310 students with nutritious breakfasts and lunches. According to Carmen, "Some children in poorer districts come to school without eating, and some of them collapse or faint at school from hunger and malnutrition."


The Amani Wine (Pink Ribbon Project) that we were selling was made by Ms. Carmen. Her new project continues.


[Carmen: Profile]

Carmen grew up in the Cape Flats of Stellenbosch, an impoverished neighborhood inhabited by so-called blacks and people of color. When he was a junior high school student, he read his mother's novel, became interested in the world of wine, and dreamed of becoming a winemaker.


1990 At this time in South Africa, the evil apartheid (racial segregation policy) that was criticized from all over the world was about to end, but people who were worried about the future of the country caused riots in various places. rice field. At that time, Carmen graduated from high school. Knocking on the gates of the wine industry. But the Elsenberg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch refused her admission. At the time, only white students were allowed to enter.

1991 Applied again to Elsenberg Agricultural College, but was rejected for the same reason. I worked in a factory that made padlocks, sold chocolates at Easter, and sold shoes at Cape Town Station.

In 1992, she applied again to Elsenberg Agricultural College, but was rejected again because she had no military training and no agricultural background. She didn't give up and completed a Diploma in Agriculture by distance learning while working in a factory. Carmen had a strong feeling that "I can definitely enter".

In 1993, I was finally admitted on my fourth application. She said she would expose this if she refused admission to the university again. I finally got into college, but student life wasn't easy. As a black woman, I was discriminated against and insulted by the students and teachers around me. However, when she complained about the situation to the school, the bullying quickly stopped.

1994 (South African Society) Apartheid ends. The birth of a new South Africa led by Mr. Mandela and the start of full-scale democratization.

1995 Graduated from university. She was overjoyed, saying, "My university life was very difficult, but now I'm very happy." The birth of the first black winemaker in the history of South African wine in a white and male-dominated wine industry.

After that, he joined Distel. The Black Empowerment Project was launched and her wines, Tukulu Pinotage 1999 and 2001, won gold at the South African Veritas Awards. Her first vintage, 1999, was named one of the Top 10 South African Pinotages of 2000. After that, I experienced harvesting in California and France as an intern. After that, I moved to Amani, also in Stellenbosch, where I worked for eight years.


2008 Decanter World Wine Awards 2006 Amani Cabernet Franc Merlot wins trophy (best in the world) in Bordeaux red variety category. After that, Amani lost the winery due to the owner's illness. She tried to start her own brand, but despite her talent, the bank wouldn't lend her money.

2009 Established the Carmen Stevens Foundation. The purpose is a project to provide school meals to hungry children in the Western Cape. According to Carmen, "Children in poor neighborhoods often come to school without eating, so they collapse or pass out at school from hunger and malnutrition."

2011 Launched own wine brand with support from Naked Wine in the UK. The brewery was lent by Amani. The first vintage is 2014. Exported mainly to the United Kingdom and the United States.

2017 Winner of the Top Female Entrepreneur Award in the Western Cape Agricultural Exports category sponsored by the Business Women Association.

2019 Registered as the first 100% all-black winery in South Africa. Received South Africa's Best Small Business Entrepreneur Award (sponsored by Sanram & Business Partners).