You can now drink canned wine from South Africa, thanks to Lubanzi Wines. This globally-minded brand is raising the bar for the entire canned wine market. Every can of Lubanzi wine is sustainable, free trade-certified, and 100% vegan.
But what’s most exciting about Lubanzi is that it’s much more than a wine. It’s a social enterprise and Certified B-Corp. Each can you drink returns 50% of its profit back to the communities that made it. In just five years since Lubanzi was started, it has already mobilized to provide medical and dental care to 44 children, fund an early childhood development center, and open an afterschool club for 33 children.
In addition to aiding the local people, Lubanzi is also dedicated to conserving the land around it. All of Lubanzi’s wines are majority dry-farmed, hand-harvested, and use 90% natural fermentation. The team is also working to fully transition to organic grapes. In the very near future, vintages will be entirely organic.
Lubanzi is a wine that’s genuinely made with love, from grape to glass, and canned wine lovers are in for a treat. There are two wines: a Rhone Red Blend and a Chenin Blanc. We had the opportunity to sample both, and found them to be wines with a true sense of place. Unlike many canned wines doctored to achieve mass appeal, each has unique aromatics reflecting its terroir. These vibrant, expressive wines offer value far beyond their price tag.
2017 Lubanzi Rhone Red Blend
This is a savory, juicy red that’s perfect with freshly grilled sausages (better yet, South African boerwors if you can find it). There’s an upfront element of sun-baked earthiness that likely reflects the wine’s granitic terroir, followed by a range of fresh aromatics including herbs, crushed cranberries, black cherry, and rhubarb. Its bright, refreshing acidity is softened by firm-yet-velvety tannins. With its medium body, this is a versatile red that can go from cool weather to warm weather sipping, if you give it a slight chill. 39% Shiraz, 34% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 9% Cinsault, and 3% Carignan.
2018 Lubanzi Chenin Blanc
The distinctive 2018 Lubanzi Chenin Blanc is filled with character. Layered notes of ripe tropical fruit, including nectarine and tangerine, mingle with light floral and herbal notes. Several months of lees aging add a lush roundness that nicely balances the wine’s mouthwatering acidity. This is delicious on its own, but would also be excellent with fresh seafood ceviche or the richer flavors of a Cape Malay chicken curry.
We’ll admit to having a soft spot for South Africa. We visited the country two years ago, only to be blown away by the beauty of both its land and its people. If you’re going to drink wine, it might as well be from a business that protects the natural environment and community of this beautiful place.
We’re excited to see what Lubanzi has in store. To learn more, visit lubanziwines.com.