Stormhoek Owner VineI recently wrote "Anyone Keen to Invest in Stormhoek? in response to their challenge around their UK partner's collapse. The post was targeted at people with Millions to invest in a wine farm. But when the post was picked up on Muti, Gingafella commented:
Everyone in the community has by now drunk gallons of Stormhoek wine, for free, at various functions. Is it not possible that the community could invest in shares instead of just one person having to fork out a lot of money?

I for one wouldn't mind a small percentage.

Graham (the owner of Stormhoek) responded:
Great idea. I wanted to do this from Dec. 21 (Orbital's failure date), as soon as I learned that our biggest distributor and owner of the UK trademark had closed doors. Let's hope that we can do something together. Whatever happens, if you want Stormhoek, you'll be able to get Stormhoek.

Now, after a month of negotiating with bankers and lawyers to structure this highly complex type of finance, Stormhoek has done it. As reported on their new blog (the old one was inexplicably locked by the UK partners, presumably to prevent bad publicity about themselves being published on it):
You will get a certificate with a photograph of your vine and your name, plus a bottle of wine made from the crop of the vineyard block containing your vine.

All of the money raised will go to repaying the Orbital debts to South African grape-growing, winemaking and support services.

I have learned from speaking with Graham that Stormhoek's business secure. So this campaign really is for the South African farmworkers and suppliers who will otherwise lose their jobs and businesses as a result of Orbital's demise.
When the crunch came in December 2007, R6 million ($800 000) was owed to South African suppliers.

South Africa’s wine industry is not rich. Household income, averaged out across every employee: boss, labourer, supervisor, receptionist, driver, manager, foreman, all of them, is less than R2500 per month.

None of these businesses can afford to lose R500 000.

As a result, all of the dozen or so businesses will have to decide about cutbacks: if, what, when and who.

You can help. You can own a vine

You can have your own vine in the Stormhoek Vineyards.

The vines each cost R2000, and the best thing about this is that you will get your money back when the current debt to the suppliers is repaid. If you can't afford to invest in a vine yourself, or with some friends, then please at least help spread the word. This will change lives.

My contribution to spreading the word was to Muti it. Please click HERE to vote the article up!  And help get it to the top of Digg by voting HERE!

(and yes, I'm taking a vine too - will post pics)

Read the original announcement, with full details HERE on Stormhoek's blog
AuthorDave Duarte