Michael Taberer talks about the Avontuur fundraising campaign that was launched in April of this year to benefit a charity which has close ties to the Taberer family. With every sale of a bottle of Avontuur’s premiere range wines, Avontuur will be donating R5 (if sold from the Estate) and R1 (if sold from retail outlets) to the Keiskammahoek Project in the Eastern Cape. The premier range includes the following wines; Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve, Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve, Minelli Pinot Noir Reserve, Baccarat (Flagship red blend) and Above Royalty Noble Late Harvest.
The project benefits several branches in the community of Keiskammahoek including the upkeep and renovation of the local church St. Matthews Chapel, food and other expenses at an orphanage in the area run by Miss Nomabelle and a scholarship at St. Matthews School.
The Taberer family has familial ties to this Eastern Cape town which can be traced back to 1863 when Charles Taberer, who was only nineteen at the time, first set foot on South African soil. Charles Taberer was a qualified teacher who had left England to join the propagation of the gospel (SPG) in South Africa where he was then sent to the Eastern Cape to start his mission.
Charles Taberer ended up in the small town of Keiskammahoek where he set about teaching at the local school and helped to facilitate the building of a church which was erected in 1875. The school taught roughly 30 pupils across all races with the aim of peace in the area. Charles Taberer was later ordained as reverent and ran both the school and church.
In later years Charles’ son Walter Taberer moved to Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) where the family settled for a number of years. And it wasn’t until 1998 while conducting research that Anthony Taberer (Walter’s grandson) first visited the St. Matthews to revive the vision that Rev Canon Charles Taberer once had. Several visits followed while finalising the family heritage book ‘Faith, Vision and Courage’. During this time the community was uplifted through improvements to both the church and the school.
In 2003 a scholarship was created through the joint initiative of the Taberer family and St. Andrews College in nearby Grahamstown where one top performing student would be indentified in St. Matthews and given the opportunity to go to school at St. Andrews through the Taberer Scholarship program.
A member of the Taberer family attends the prize giving function at the school every year to present the scholarship as well as the Taberer Trophy and cash prize to the top performing matriculant at the school.
The newest initiative is an orphanage in Keiskammahoek which houses roughly 50 children who all attend St. Matthews. The project helps to provide food to children and further assistance is also provided in terms of skills development to ensure a better future for the children once they reach the age of eighteen and leave the orphanage.
Michael Taberer states the vision of the project as such “to sustain the area through education and to help grow the area into one which is self sustaining”.
Michael and his Canadian wife Tara are both very passionate about the Keiskammahoek Project and the impact that it has had on the town. They both feel very strongly about creating a sustainable future for the community.
This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.