The family that created Kumala and turned it into a leading brand in the UK is targeting the UK with a new bulk wine supply business.

Roger Gabb created Cape Wine Exporters in 1995, the same year the Gabbs launched Kumala through their Western Wines business, but the company has lain dormant until now.

Gabb and his son Rollo are teaming up with Ben Jordaan, Derik Visser and Leon Esterhuizen in a bid to turn Cape Wine Exporters into a leading supplier of South African wine to the UK.

Managing director Rollo Gabb, who also runs the family’s Journey’s End winery in Stellenbosch, said: “After several years working quietly on the Cape Wine Exporters concept, we are very excited to have pulled together what we feel is an A-Team on procurement and logistics for this exciting new challenge.

“Our procurement model is a hybrid of the original, lean, Western Wines model that was hugely successful and resulted in both Kumala’s success and that of our family business, Western Wines, which accounted for some 45% of South African Wine exports from 1995-2006.  Together, we look forward to being able to offer our customers a full spectrum of wines from genuine, super premium quality estate wines, to entry level wines.”

Jordaan has served as head of winemaking and procurement at Accolade South Africa and brings with him “specialist expertise in quality value procurement”. 

Esterhuizen, Journey’s End’s head winemaker and general manager ,will work on quality control and blending, while Derik Visser, formerly of Origin Wines, is head of production.

Chairman Roger Gabb said: “Bulk wine is currently estimated to account for 62% of all wines sold in the UK and 38% of wines sold globally, with the UK remaining the largest market for volume wine exports.

“South Africa itself has seen continued strong growth in bulk exports in the past year. We see this as an important progression to our customer offering in the UK and internationally. With the launch of Cape Wine Exporters, we hope to be able to deliver competitively priced, quality wines in both bulk and UK packed for a number of our key customers.”