Owning a winery is the dream of many a successful businessman. In South Africa, quite a few wineries are privately owned and operated. Not only is the beauty of the Cape Winelands enticing, but what could be more seductive than the thought of serving a wine complete with your own family name and crest? Take a look at this Napa Valley, California, video to get the picture.
But winemaking is a capital-intensive project, and slow on returns. When he went into it almost 30 years ago, Tim Hamilton Russell estimated that it would take 10 years to see a return on capital. The figure has not changed much since then especially now that imported equipment and wooden barrels have to be acquired with our weak rand. So it is rewarding to see South African money being invested in the Cape Winelands when it could so easily be exported for quicker and far better returns.
Relatively new to the industry is another IT man, Dave Lello. He brings a wealth of wine knowledge, having had a keen interest in the subject for most of his life. His enthusiasm for wine is matched by his love of Italy and Africa. And this shows in the name he has chosen for his wine venture, Stellakaya.