When I met Eamon from Naked Wines to discuss plans for the Norwich: Meet Mother Pukka event (he is a huge fan of Annas), I didn’t know I was going to hear all about the most incredible woman.
Carmen Stevens, a South African single mother of two, has fought prejudice to become an extraordinarily successful wine maker.
As a girl, she would read Mills & Boon novels, some of which were set in vineyards which made her dream of being a wine maker. No-one in her in her community as a girl on the Cape Flats knew that you could study winemaking, but an uncle of a friend worked in the lab at Stellenbosch Farmers Winery and he showed her around.
She had to fight to get into college in the first place, and then when she got in, almost quit as the environment was so unsupportive (of 100 students, she was one of only five women, and only one other male student was black) but she didn’t.
She became the the FIRST black winemaker in South Africa in fact. It is an utterly incredible achievement. She has gone on to achieve international recognition for her wine, one day taking a call from Naked Wines. The Naked Wines 'Angels' helped her set up in business and now she is one of their star winemakers. She was voted Winemaker of the Year in 2016 and now works with a local charity to provide healthy meals every day to 3,060 school children in the area near where she grew up.
I'm so proud to have such a successful, entrepreneurial and ethical company in Norwich. Of course the wine is delicious, and it’s good to know the sips are doing good too.
I'm number 4210 in the queue to be an Angel but it didn't stop me using a code to get a case of wine. All We Got This (Sometimes!) followers can receive a £60 voucher against a case of wine when they use this code: www.nakedwines.com/wgts
This post is written in association with Naked Wines.