Wine event host and tour guide
Chef’s Warehouse General Manager and Sommelier
In the industry since 2008
Founded Ynguy Tours in 2019
Lennox Nyengera has always sought out what’s cool. As a young boy growing up in the Zimbabwean mining town of Kwekwe, he was the fashion-conscious one. The DJ. The party coordinator. He was ambitious and motivated, creative and quirky. ‘I was a smart guy, but a naughty guy!’
He moved to South Africa in 2008, and fell into Cape Town’s hospitality industry. What started out as immediate money-making imperative has turned into a rewarding career. The world of wine was not something he had previously considered; it was not a family habit. But as he has grown his skill set – barman, then sommelier, then wine guide – those back home have embraced his vocation with increasing respect. Now, when his sister teases him that every shot on his Instagram feed shows him with a glass in his hand, he has a ready reply. ‘If I don’t drink wine, I get fired!’
Although he runs a tour business, Lennox maintains his position as general manager and sommelier at Chef’s Warehouse in Cape Town. He has also spent time at some of the best restaurants (like the Roundhouse, with Joakim Hansi Blackadder), and wine estates (such as Vergelegen, Delaire-Graaff and Spier) in the region. Ever the social networker, he consistently invited friends to his places of work so that he could take them wine tasting. ‘I always made it a VIP experience!’ He soon realised that he loved giving these informal tours, and began expanding his offering to surrounding farms. Lennox found it easy to introduce people to wine if he understood their existing drinking habits. Beer lover? ‘They’re used to the acidity; to bitterness. I’d start them with an MCC.’ Whiskey connoisseur? ‘Well, they’re obviously used to the heavier stuff. So: a full-bodied Cab-Sav!’
In 2019, Lennox started putting the pieces together: food, wine, friends, tours. He completed his WSET Level 2 certificate, and opened his wine touring business – Ynguy. The Covid lockdown complicated its launch, but he used the time to plan and study. He also offered ad hoc tours whenever the opportunity allowed. Future ideas include boat cruises, city-based events, and perhaps even a township wine festival. ‘We can come together through wine; with fashion, music, creativity…’ And, no doubt, a good dose of cool.