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  • Sabrina Shaw

Tembela Wine Launch

Updated: Jun 2, 2021


Banele Vakele explaining his wines.
Banele Vakele explaining his wines.

Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé, Banele Vakele, has launched his own label: Tembela Wines. Named after his mother, Tembela in isiXhosa encompasses the English meaning for faith, hope and belief. His artistic wine label pays tribute to his maternal heritage while referencing his winemaking ethos: minimal intervention wines from organically farmed vineyards.


A little bit about Banele:

Born in the Eastern Cape and raised in Khayelitsha, wine was not featured within his upbringing or environment. “Wine was something drunk on television,” says Banele during his interview with Pippa Hudson from New Beginnings, Cape Talk. Fast forward to 2015 where Banele attained a B.Agric degree from Elsenburg with unwavering support from his mother, then in 2016 was chosen for the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme. Ever since he has been working on his craft mentored by a variety of winemakers both locally and internationally. In 2019, he found his position as assistant winemaker at Savage Wines, and now in 2021 Tembela Wines has been launched.


Tasting Notes (using WSET Level 2 SAT):


Tembela Verdelho 2020


Nose: Pronounced intensity of orange peel, dried naartjie, crisp green apple, subtle hint of vanilla.

Palate: Flavour – Pronounced intensity of orange marmalade, dried naartjie, crisp green apple, hints of white pepper and vanilla.

Sweetness – Dry

Acidity – High

Tannin – n/a

Alcohol – 14%

Body – Medium

Finish – Long

Pairing Suggestion: Grub & Vine’s Pork Belly

Additional Comments: This wine has a gorgeously rich mouthfeel with an abundance of texture which is balanced out by the Verdelho’s naturally high acidity. A beautifully complex wine giving Italian white varietal critics a run for their money. The grapes are from the Stellenbosch region. Matured for 11 months in an old 500-litre barrel.




Tembela Syrah 2020

Colour: Medium Ruby

Nose: Medium intensity of jammy raspberries and blueberries, ground black pepper, and a subtle herbal aroma.

Palate: Flavour – Medium intensity of cooked berries and plum, ground black pepper, tobacco, and cloves.

Sweetness – Dry

Acidity – Medium

Tannin – High

Alcohol – 13,5%

Body – Medium

Finish – Medium

Pairing Suggestion: The Shop Sea Point’s Venison.

Additional Comments: This wine has a concentrated palate that exhibits the balance between strong tannins and fruit-driven flavour. The grapes are from the Stellenbosch region. 30% whole-bunch fermentation and maturation for 11 months in an old 500-litre barrel.


It is safe to say that we are all excited to see what his future vintages will bring to the South African ‘wine scene.’

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