How a wine farm empowers community change

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“At Spier, we believe that we can make a difference through learning. With Spier Growing For Good initiatives, we invest in learning that empowers our communities to make a positive social and environmental change.”

Forward-thinking wine farm

Spier is one of the oldest and most awarded wineries in Stellenbosch, with a history dating back to 1692. They are known not only for their excellent wine but for the Fair Trade Tourism accredited Spier Hotel and conference facilities. 

“Spier has a reputation for progressive thinking,” explains Heidi Newton-King, the Sustainability Director at Spier. “Our commitment to responsible farming practices, pioneering environmental and social initiatives and farm-to-table restaurants all contribute to this.” The organisation also has a deep regard for the role of art in society and is known for its significant contribution to the South African arts economy.

Growing for Good initiatives

But it’s the Growing for Good initiatives that are really making a difference in their communities. These include tackling one of South Africa’s most pressing challenges, youth unemployment. “Spier offers mentorship in hospitality, wine and agriculture, and we provide psycho-social support to young school learners within our local community,” says Marina. “We also offer training in mosaic and ceramics through the Spier Artisan Apprenticeship Programme. And our Tree-preneur project teaches members of impoverished communities how to grow indigenous plants, which are then exchanged for livelihood support.”

A brochure into the world

With so many initiatives and offerings, the Spier website is an integral part of their marketing. “Our website offers guests the information they need to plan their visit, book accommodation or purchase wines,” says Marina Vermeulen, Global Brand Manager. “It is our brochure into the world.”

This website has been hosted by xneelo for over a decade. “Xneelo is a trusted host and supplier,” explains Marina. “We chose our hosting on the recommendation of our developer at the time, and have never needed to change.”

“I don’t work with the xneelo team directly – that responsibility lies with our IT manager and developer. However, I can attest to their help desk being extremely helpful and efficient. Any queries or technical issues are dealt with very swiftly.”

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