Minister Winde commends Stellenbosch entrepreneur for making world first Rooibos-wooded wine

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities

Western Cape Government:

A Western Cape winery is ready to revolutionise his industry after patenting a ground-breaking technique using Rooibos and Honeybush in the production of wine, beer and cider.

Today, Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, visited Audacia Wines in Stellenbosch for a closer look at the innovative technique, which is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Trevor Strydom.

Strydom has replaced traditional oak wood with Rooibos wood in the production of his wine.

Research conducted by the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University and ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij found that there were powerful antioxidants in Rooibos and Honeybush which may assist in preserving the wine naturally.

This method has the potential to eliminate the need for Sulphur Dioxide and other synthetic materials as preservatives.

Strydom said this was a significant development for the industry, for organic wine-makers and for those with sulphur allergies.

Audacia’s “No Sulphites or Preservatives Added” Merlot 2013 was recently awarded a Veritas 2014 bronze medal.

Minister Winde commended Strydom and his team for the cutting-edge concept.

“Entrepreneurs like Trevor Strydom are helping to build the brand of the Western Cape as a centre of innovation. The only way we can remain competitive is if we embrace innovation. This initiative speaks also to the value of adding value, a space the Western Cape Government is currently driving hard through a new economic project called Project Khulisa (Khulisa means ‘to grow’ in isiXhosa). Through Project Khulisa we identified agri-processing as a high-potential sector which can dramatically add to growth and jobs in the region. Several firms in the agri-processing sector are already developing new products to compete on domestic and export markets, and we are embarking on targeted initiatives, with industry, to ensure this grows”, said Winde.

Minister Winde added that Audacia’s innovation was an example of driving growth through partnerships. They are working with stakeholders including Stellenbrau Brewery and Windermere Cider to ensure that Rooibos is infused in their products too.

“In the Western Cape, 167 494 residents are employed in the wine industry. Close to R20 billion (53%) of the wine industry’s contribution to national Gross Domestic Product is generated in the province.  Exciting innovations like these are excellent news for our wine industry as they will help it to grow further,” said Winde.

The Western Cape Government is working hard creating an enabling environment for all entrepreneurs.

“We will assess how we can support entrepreneurs with the patenting process. Further, we will continue our efforts to eradicate unnecessary red tape so entrepreneurs like Trevor have the environment they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.”