The Land of Hope Trust
2015: Chairman's Introduction
I can say this with feeling: this is one of those workers’ Trusts that works. It’s not flashy, nor huge – except in its own way - but it is real and it is growing.
And not only in the important task of providing for those crucial and expensive extras so important to broadening any child’s education and, vitally, their confidence in themselves.
But in the equally central mission of transferring skills to the trustees, The Land of Hope Trust is showing, in its increasing ‘self-reliance’ that it can improve quality, provide consistency and expand the range of its wines.
This is well-paced, organic growth from the bottom up. From vineyard management to wine-making, to the countless processes that go into maturing, blending, finishing, bottling, labelling and marketing and exporting, the trustees are taking a greater role in their project.
The ‘mother ship’ – The Winery of Good Hope - and its founder, Alex Dale, who initiated this Trust, continue to maintain their supportive presence.
As to kids themselves, from the five we started with in 2008, we have 18, in 2015 - possibly more by the end of the year. From kindergarten to high school and to tertiary education. The budget for disbursements has grown from R16, 000 to R310, 000, a 20-fold increase in just eight years. And a difficult period in wine markets; all the while covering production and sales costs and preserving adequate reserves.
We have star performers among the kids: Megan May is in her final year of the Elizabeth Galloway Design Academy, showing her fellow beneficiaries that application and diligence pay off. And Christopher Sassman has been appointed Deputy Head Boy in his final High School Year.
The wines. An exciting Pinot Noir Reserve now joins the highly rated Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and the Chenin Blanc Reserve – 4 to 4.5 stars in reputable wine publications. They’ve established vintage-to-vintage consistency and are regulars in prime, very competitive export destinations like Marks and Spencer in the UK. The wines are listed in six more overseas countries, including, for example, Norway, Denmark and China, where restaurants in exotic locations are serving Land of Hope Chenin! The helpful ‘reach’ provided by the Winery of Good Hope obviously will remain critical for some time.
Perhaps the brightest latest wine news is the local increase in sales; the Reserve wines sold exclusively through Frogitt & Vonkel wine merchants while a new line of specially-bottled wines is being introduced through SA’s most premium multiple grocer : Woolworths. The latter who sets a high bar, is to list two new Land of Hope wines. This balances the export-domestic spread of the portfolio and consolidates the profile of the labels. Again, this has not been the result of sudden lurches, but the outcome of steady, solid improvement in quality and service reliability.
As it should be.
CHAIRMAN - John Platter