Her Wine Collection
Winemaker | General manager
In the industry since 2005
Praisy Dlamini is effusive: about her family, her upbringing in KwaZulu-Natal, and, of course, her career. ‘I have converted nearly all my friends to drinking wine!’ She began her studies at Elsenburg Agricultural College in 2005, followed by three years in the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé programme. After turning out a handcrafted cabernet as part of the course, she took the opportunity to become assistant winemaker at Distell. The chalk-and-cheese experiences offered her the broadest possible perspective.
Praisy is engaging and energetic, but reflects on this time as somewhat lonely. She was the first in her family to study viticulture, and many of her relatives were religious non-drinkers. So, despite all the excitement, inspiration, and personal progress, she sometimes felt she had no one close to her to share it all with. ‘There is nothing easy about this!’ That said, her parents were always supportive, despite the ‘culture shock’ of her career. And, over time, Praisy has found her wine clan… to which she continues to add new converts. ‘I appreciate my life.’
Praisy spent six years as a winemaker with Distell, but, when she had her son, opted for a role with more manageable hours. She took an offer at Anchor Yeast, as a technical sales manager. Given that the company made additives for wines, this afforded her another angle on the industry. In 2019, however, Adama offered her a winemaking position and she was ready for the challenge. ‘Wine pushes you.’ It’s here that Praisy developed Her Wine Collection, in collaboration with other women winemakers. At the moment, the collection consists of a Pinotage and a Shiraz, with two partner white wines in the works. ‘Her’ proved to be a more controversial name than expected. ‘But this is my story. This is my point of view.’ For Praisy, the collection is a celebration of South African women – inspired by the marches of 1956. ‘They opened a door.’ In her opinion, the ‘controversy’ is a useful conversation starter – one to be engaged in over a glass or two.
Praisy is relaxed and unfussy when she introduces someone to wine for the first time. ‘Start with the food.’ She discusses easy pairings, like what bottle goes well with a braai. ‘I love to make wine my friends will drink.’ It’s not surprising she has so many converts.