I walked into the new Vendange store on opening day at the recently updated Bryanston Shopping centre. Vendange is the retail arm of Benguela trading and specialises in food, wine and decor accessories with a distinct winelands feel. Owned by brothers Richard and Oliver Davies, these stores are a feast for the eyes and definitely worth a visit.
‘Vendange’ – the French term for grape harvest. It brings with it all the excitement of the annual wine harvests in the winelands.
How was Vendange born?
Oliver and I grew up on a wine farm in the heart of the Franschhoek valley as part of a family that had a background in the furniture business. We started out small – Oliver had just finished studying – and we set up making the first cheese and baguette boards from recycled wine barrels in our parents’ driveway. Benguela Trading was officially launched in September 2008. Our customers include Vendange, Poetry and Independent retailers locally. We also have a great export customer base in Europe, Australia and the US.
Having first started out in the wholesale business, we learnt a lot from the customers we supplied. After two years of supplying retailers we decided to venture into the retail arena and launched the first Vendange store in the trendy 44 Stanley Ave complex. Two years later we have several more stores with the most recent one having opened in the Bryanston Shopping centre.
Some of the store’s range consists of
- Boutique Vineyard Trudeau cheese boards made from recycled wine barrels
- Tokara and L’Ormarins olive oil
- Imported Italian olive oil decanters
- A large range of Champagne buckets, wine crates and decanters
- Café style bistro sets made from recycled French oak wine barrels.
You may be interested to know that most of the wine barrels in South Africa are imported from France (not America) and that the life span of a barrel is approximately 3 years or 3 ‘fills’. The barrels then lose their ability to age red wine which is where we step in and recycle them into cheese and baguette boards.
Images: Lauren Kim of their 44 Stanley store.
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