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Rhino Tears wine raises R100k in three months to anti-poaching efforts

The idea for the wine came about when Mt Vernon MD, John Hooper, met with John Turner, Chairman of the SANParksHonorary Rangers Conservation Services Unit; and Andre Nel, owner of The Hat & Creek restaurants in Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa. After spending a couple of days with the field rangers at the Kruger Wilderness Experience bush camp in the Kruger National Park, the idea for a wine that could raise money for anti-poaching efforts was developed.

“I have had an inherent love for wildlife and as a child we would be fortunate to spend our holidays in the bush, fishing or in remote locations, explains Hooper.

“The selling and marketing of wine is difficult and competitive, but it is rewarding. When an opportunity arises to mix work with pleasure, I jumped at the chance to give something back and spend time with good people fighting a worthy cause.

“After discussions developed with the SANParksHonorary Rangers, I had a good idea on how the costs would work, as it was important to be able to develop something in which the ultimate beneficiaries were the rhinos themselves. It was up to me to create a good quality red and white wine, design an attractive and iconic label endorsed by SANParks, and make sure it was in stores, ready to sell before Christmas, ” Hooper continues.

Rhino Tears wine is from the Mt Vernon wine estate in Klapmuts, Cape Town. Hooper realised that he needed to create a good quality wine that wine lovers around the world would appreciate. An important point to consider, though, was selling a wine that people would buy often and could enjoy immediately, as this would mean more for anti-poaching than a wine that would have be stored in a cellar for years before drinking.

The result is a good red blend made from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage grapes that allows for easy drinking and appeals to all levels of palate. The white is a fruit-driven Chenin Blanc, suitable for enjoying at all occasions.

Rhino Tears wine sells at around R55 per bottle, and R15 from each bottle goes directly to Unite Against Poaching. Wine lovers can be confident that 100% of the funds raised through sales of Rhino Tears are used for anti-poaching projects in SANParks.

“Every bottle purchased really makes a difference. The costs of the anti-poaching war is expensive and the men and women involved need all they can get against a ruthless enemy,” he ends.

Rhino Tears wine is available for purchase in major retailers around the country, including Pick n Pay, Makro, Tops, Spar, Fruit and Veg City and major independent retailers. It can also ordered online at, or

More about Unite Against Poaching

Unite Against Poaching is an initiative created by Unitrans Volkswagen to make a difference in the war against poaching at the coalface. 100% of the funds raised are used to ensure that the field rangers have the equipment and skills to face the onslaught of rhino poachers. Anti-poaching projects funded to date include equipment and clandestine training for the field rangers; rhino DNA profiling; and the development of the Kruger National Park Tracker Hound project.

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