Serve (wine) to change lives


The Rotary E-clubs of ­Hamburg-Connect, ­Germany, and Greater Cape Town, South Africa, planned the perfect fundraiser around this perfect theme — with a bit of “shaken, not stirred” added. The end result was an online wine tasting fundraiser that served wine to change lives.

Members of Rotary clubs, NGOs, businesses, and their friends gathered from ­Germany, Namibia and South Africa to be part of the tasting experience. The guests tasted the exact same wines at the exact same time while listening to a winemaker. This took some careful planning, but it worked brilliantly.

Beautiful wine tasting boxes that included spices and ­tasting notes were sent to help the guests become future expert wine drinkers. The winemaker walked them through the tasting process, which included smelling and tasting the spices before sipping the wine, and then comparing the senses and wine notes.

The tasting was not just virtual, as each of the virtual guests had invited a small group of people to join them at their home to share the tasting experience.

At the Nitida wine cellar in Durbanville, South Africa, spirits were raised by the guests who had been invited to enjoy an exclusive tasting and a meal prepared by the farm restaurant. Among these guests were District 9350 Governor Ian Robertson and his wife, Barbara, past district ­governor Carl-Heinz Duisberg and his wife, Caroline, many Rotarians, and some potential new Rotarians.

During the tasting, a wonderful surprise was revealed when 2020–21 Rotary President ­Holger Knaack joined from Germany, shared a special message, and stayed to enjoy the whole evening.

About $2,600 was raised for an early childhood development centre in Temperance Town, ­Gordon’s Bay, South Africa, which is in dire need of upkeep and renovations. Members of the Rotaract Club of False Bay will be greatly involved with this project and add their skills to it.


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