by | Jul 4, 2024 | Articles

In the bustling global wine industry, Moedi Wines has emerged as a beacon of quality, authenticity, and purpose. Founded by dynamic young black entrepreneur Lesego Holzapfel, this South African wine brand has carved out a unique niche and sets a powerful example of drive, resilience, innovation, and impact.

We caught up with Lesego to explore the highlights of her journey, the valuable lessons learned, and the promising future she envisions for black-owned wine brands.

A journey highlighted by global opportunities

For Lesego, the highlight of her entrepreneurial journey has been the immense global opportunities available to build an authentic wine brand. Moedi Wines’ acceptance and thriving presence in foreign markets stand as a testament to her dedication and the universal appeal of her wines.

“Travelling to various global wine shows has allowed me to engage with buyers and consumers from various countries,” says Holzapfel. “This exposure allowed me to craft a wine brand that resonates deeply with consumers who care about quality, sustainability, and social and environmental impact.”

Lessons learned on the path to success

Building Moedi Wines from the ground up has imparted several valuable lessons. Central to its success is a clear brand message and the courage to tell its story.

“Consistency and hard work are paramount; people will notice you,” Lesego emphasises. “Consistently engaging with my network has also proven crucial.”

The future of black-owned wine brands

The wine industry is evolving, and Lesego sees a bright future for black-owned brands.

“Unfortunately, there are not many black-owned wine brands globally. However, this challenge allows South African black-owned brands to scale globally,” she says.

“With diversity and inclusion becoming pivotal topics worldwide, consumers are increasingly intentional about supporting brands that represent them. This shift presents a significant opportunity for black-owned wine brands to gain visibility and market share.”

Advice for aspiring wine entrepreneurs

For those looking to break into the wine industry, Lesego offers sage advice.

“First of all, work on a plan and put in the work,” she advises. “Understanding target markets, researching competition, and positioning one’s brand effectively are essential steps. Secondly, seek help, build connections and networks, and engage importers and distributors in markets you are interested in.”

Memorable milestones

One of the most profound milestones for Lesego was launching Moedi Wines in the USA.

“As a former university student in America, I struggled to find South African wines on the shelves. It was pretty special to come back to the USA with Moedi Wines.”

The unique substance of Moedi Wines

According to Lesego, Moedi Wines stands out for several reasons:

  1. Quality: Exceptional South African wines from the Swartland Region.
  2. People, planet, and authentic impact: Prioritising environmental sustainability and social impact.
  3. Black woman founded and owned: Representing diversity and inclusion.
  4. Value: Offering quality wines at competitive prices.

This uniqueness is communicated through Moedi’s packaging, social media, and brand story, ensuring customers understand and appreciate what sets the brand apart.

Value perceived by customers

Customers find immense value in Moedi Wines and consistently praise the quality of the wines. Lesego believes the brand’s authenticity and deep African roots further enhance its appeal.

“Our customers appreciate the brand’s social impact initiatives, such as supporting beekeepers and ‘Raise The Children’, a charity I co-founded to support orphans.”

Staying motivated and inspired

In a competitive industry, staying motivated and inspired is essential. For Lesego, every challenge is an opportunity to grow. She remains uniquely herself, telling her story with authenticity and trusting in her faith.

“Surrounding yourself with encouraging people and mentors in the wine industry also plays a vital role in maintaining my drive as an entrepreneur,” she says.

Moedi Wines is more than just a brand; it embodies a young woman’s drive, purpose, and passion for a mission. As Lesego continues to navigate the global wine industry, her journey inspires aspiring entrepreneurs and underscores the importance of authenticity, hard work, and social impact in building a successful business. With her vision and determination, the future looks promising for Moedi Wines and the broader landscape of black-owned wine brands.

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