When you log on to the Black Elephant Vintners (BEV) website, one of the first things you see on the landing page is a line that reads “A Robben Island native, an ex-stockbroker and an elephant walk into a bar …” And you know immediately this is not your run-of-the-mill wine estate operating from a 17th century Cape Dutch-styled farm. Indeed, the three blokes behind BEV – Kevin Swart (the Black), Raymond Ndlovu (the Elephant) and Jacques Wentzel (the Vintner) describe themselves as “Rebels of the vine whose mission it is to bring truth to the wine industry and create experiences that turn convention on its head.”
By cutting out the stereotypical yadda yadda and pretentiousness of the wine industry and dedicating their raw passion to the craft, these three self-proclaimed misfits have successfully created a unique range of wines with unrivalled character.
More recently, they have entered the canned wine market, releasing a Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Pinot Noir in 250ml cans. Why not? We see this as taking wine where bottles cannot go; picnics, hikes, music festivals, sporting events etc. It is also a completely recyclable, sustainable and vegan friendly product.
Also unique to BEV is their wine and music pairing experience which is on offer if you visit the Franschhoek farm on a Friday or Saturday morning. Some of their suggestions include pairing their popular Two Dogs, a Peacock and a Horse Sauvignon Blanc 2019 with Fun Fun Fun by The Beach Boys; their Amazing Grace Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Amazing Grace by Tree63 (Swart’s brother Darryl played drums for Tree63); their Rose Rebel goes down very well with I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats; the Nicholas Red blend with Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega and, their limited edition MCC Blanc de Blanc 2013, which they suggest drinking while listening to Queen’s It’s a Kinda Magic.