If you appreciate a brand that has an interesting back-story, you’ll love Cape London wine. This online retailer not only has an ethical interest in where it sources its grapes, it’s also empowering women to get involved in the wine making business.
Today, I’m featuring a Q & A with Pauline Stewart – a Cape London wine brand ambassador and motivational coach for women in business.
Over to you Pauline…
A Q&A with Cape London Wine
Hi Pauline. Why did you decide to become an ambassador for Cape London?
At my first meeting with Tony and Andy, the Cape London founders, I was so inspired by their business ethics that I wanted to be a part of the company. This is a company that’s recognised for its strong ethical guidelines and has earned many accolades for it.
Yes, they want to sell wine, but they also want to tell the stories behind their products.
Take a look at our website and you’ll find everything from a vineyard in New Zealand that joined the community in saving a much-loved local ‘Wooing Tree’ to Women in Wine – a group of ladies who are leading the way in female equality in South Africa.
Tell us more about Women in Wine…
Women in Wine is basically a group of 20 ladies in Stellenbosch, South Africa who made it their mission to empower women – and especially black women – in a male-dominated wine industry.
It’s the first fully female operated wine company of its kind and workers at the vineyards not only get profit shares in the companies, they’re also offered training in separate skills, such as secretarial and typing courses to enable them to gain independence and financial freedom for the first time in their lives.
In a country that’s not quite there with female equality, this is a brilliant story of determination and ambition which we’re extremely proud to be a part of.
Which woman do you most aspire to and why?
There are many fantastic women who have achieved great success, including the team behind Women in Wine, but I’m particularly inspired by women overcoming barriers to reach their goal such as the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai. Real life stories like hers can really encourage your determination to make it in life.
Alongside your work for Cape London wine, you have your own business – Inspirati Limited, an organization that helps empower women in business. How does it work and why is this a passion of yours?
I’ve been touched by some personal challenges and when I explored different ways of working in business, I eventually found that the best way is to be authentic. This can be easier said than done for some.
Working with women can be energetic and fun. We create programmes designed to get the best out of people and those who travel the distance with me have certainly progressed both professionally and personally.
I believe women of all ages have the opportunity to be and do so much more than they have ever done before. Having the ability to ‘think for oneself’ is the most freeing experience you can have. It’s powerful, strong and enables women to drive forward. Lots of people say they would love to bottle my enthusiasm. I feel a new wine coming on!
What’s your one piece of advice for young women in business?
Don’t be worried if at first you don’t succeed. Believe in your vision, and most of all, believe in yourself and enjoy the journey. The business landscape is large and there is plenty of room for all.
And back to wine! What do you think of the food and drink scene in London?
I love wining and dining in London – restaurants that have a buzz encourage customers. People work hard for their money so when they socialise over a glass of wine, they want to know they’ll get a good product and service too, so restaurants are constantly having to up their game.
One of my favourites is Wahaca because they’re committed to only serving meat from an animal that’s lived a healthy, happy life. Plus, they have a really strong ethos supporting sustainable fish supply. Plus the food is delicious!
Last but not least, what are your predictions for the wine scene?
I think we’ll see more and more smaller, independent wine makers coming to the fore. There’s a lot of talent and imagination out there, such as a company in South Africa called Black Elephant Vintners who make a wonderful Malbec called the Backroads. They’re gaining quite a big ‘new world’ reputation in a short space of time.
I also think people will begin to explore the stories behind the wine including the winemakers and the farms, which is why I think businesses like Women in Wine will really appeal.
I also think that New Zealand’s reputation as a great wine country is going to grow and grow. People think of New Zealand as Sauvignon Blanc, but there are some terrific Pinot Noirs and Rieslings just waiting to be explored…