Wine drinking has its own etiquette and culture and although held in esteem in some countries of the world such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa and others, in Botswana drinking wine is an art that is yet to be popular. Usually, the perception that is attached to it is that it is too potent to take in and at times, men regard it as a drink best suited for ladies.
“Men don’t drink wine, men drink beer and that is how it has always been,” says Tumo Morekeng, a 34 year old man. The culture and perception of wine drinking in Botswana is still in its infant stage, but surprisingly twenty four year old Tsholo Sefularo has chosen to take on a career as a wine distributor.
She reveals that, “Wine is an art and it has that class that just sets it apart from any beverage. My love for wine deepened when I was working in Disney. Wine and dining was big and we had strict and high standards on wine etiquette. When we had a new wine in the restaurant, we would taste it everyday for 2 weeks and pair it with meals before we could have it sold to guests and I discovered it was something I really enjoyed doing. So earlier this year in February, I decided to take it to the next level and become a wine distributor. I crafted the idea, planned a trip to Cape Town to meet with investors and luckily they liked the idea and as they say, the rest is history.”
Tsholo goes on to reveal that passion above anything drove her to go into business as a wine distributor in Botswana and having studied Project and Logistics Management at the University of Botswana and currently enrolled for a Diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management with The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. “Going into any business has its own challenges but if you are doing something that you love, a lot of things become bearable. The mindset of Batswana is slowly starting to change, especially with the influx of foreigners coming in to do business here or coming in as tourists,” she says.
Answering the question on what her job really entails, “At this point we are just agents, distribution entail serious warehousing on a larger scale. So being a wine agent basically means brand ambassadors of wine estates. Getting the wines from the wine estates and distributing it to the target clients as well as hosting promotional events.”
Her company, Dwine wines which was established in April 2013 brands wines for weddings, corporate and private clients, distributes as well as trains and teaches people about wine. They represent a new generation of wine lovers. “We are the official wine partners of the Global Expo Botswana 2013, and also for the Property Investment, lifestyle & Decor 2013.” They get their wines from the Mt Vernon Wine Estate, Rosendal and others in Cape Town and they distribute to hotels, restaurants, wholesalers and liquor stores here in Botswana.