How workers at Diemersfontein Wines are winning all the way after becoming shareholders

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Diemersfontein staff members Cheslin Prins (left) and Tholine Samuels with estate owner David Sonnenberg on the farm near Wellington in the Western Cape. (Photo: Misha Jordaan)
Diemersfontein staff members Cheslin Prins (left) and Tholine Samuels with estate owner David Sonnenberg on the farm near Wellington in the Western Cape. (Photo: Misha Jordaan)

A lush, neatly manicured lawn stretches out in front of the elegant manor house at Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate. The Hawequa Mountains loom over the estate’s sprawling vineyards in Wellington, in the Western Cape, a town renowned for its orchards; wine estates; buchu plantations; olive groves; and vine-cutting nurseries, which produce 85% of the country’s vine-root stock for the wine industry.

Behind the scenes of everything offered in this beautiful part of the world are the farm workers, whose back-breaking labour keeps these industries alive. And now this wine farm is showing how farm workers can enjoy the fruits of their labour in a more meaningful way than ever before.

“When we came here, we had nothing,” says Tholine Samuels (46), the vineyards supervisor at Diemersfontein, where she’s worked for 13 years.

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