Joseph Dhafana
Joseph Dhafana
Image: Supplied

Never in South Africa has wine been as widely enjoyed across demographics as it is currently. This has sparked interest from many connoisseurs and enthusiasts eager to start bottling their own wines, and one of these inspiring figures is La Colombe sommelier Joseph Dhafana and his wine range, Mosi. We asked him a few questions.

Who is Joseph Dhafana? I’m a Zimbabwean-born sommelier, wine maker, and wine judge, based in Cape Town.

I am one of the privileged ones, in the sense that I am connected to the right people

With a great career as a sommelier, why the foray into wine making? After I had my first glass in 2010 at the age of 28 in the Swartland, I began to love wine and its many nuances. I wanted more than just to drink it, but was eager to understand it, share it, and to make it. I then made my maiden vintage in 2014 under the guidance of Chris Mullineux, Eben Sadie, and Roger Clayton.

Tell us more about Mosi wines? Mosi wines is owned by someone who has never studied wine making, but relied on reading and learning from other renowned wine makers. We produce 100% syrah, 100% chenin and will soon bottle 100% merlot. We have a bubbly project in the pipeline too. Mosi is going to help by employing a few people, and also giving back to the community via its wine-education initiative.

Is it a challenge and privilege to be part of a very small, but growing group of young black wine makers? There is a huge challenge, as it is difficult to access money to buy grapes, buy new barrels, and hire people when needed. Opportunities are rather limited. I am one of the privileged ones, in the sense that I am connected to the right people, so I can buy grapes and bottles, use the facilities to make wine, and pay later only once I sell, but still the money is the major challenge. I rely on small sales and my salary to make this business run. Even though the wine society is full of many helpful people, young wine makers still need all the help available.

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