Wine entrepreneur and celebrity housewife Thato Montse slays her fear of heights. 

Reality TV star Thato Montse arrived in South Africa from Lesotho in her late teens. 

She’s always cherished the dream of having her own wine-label, and has studied both marketing and wine-making in order to achieve this. Before tasting success, Ms Montse had to re-write matric, fund her studies then learn about wine.

During her studies at the University of Stellenbosch and The Cape Wine Academy, Thato initially mastered small-scale production. She has a very DIY, hands-on approach to the science and is always keen to learn more.

“I feel like we need more females and black women getting into the wine industry because our wines are really devine,” comments Thato.  

Now, to both her family and industry veterans like Eric Sas, she’s a respected connoisseur with her own wine label – Thato Wines.

Owner and director of Wolvenhoek Vineyards, Eric Sas, warmly welcomed Thato and The Insider SA with a personal tour of his cellar – where we had the opportunity to blend and taste Baba Yetu before visiting the vineyards to do a little pruning. 

Thato invited her mom Matsepo Montse, bestie Alan Fleischmann and her family on this excursion for them to find out more about wine making.

Shying away from a challenge is not in her DNA so when we roped her and Alan in for a paragliding experience off Signal Hill after, she rised to the occasion.

“I’m super excited. …right now, I’m all about adventure, I’m all about adrenaline, so this is up in my alley,” says Thato.  

A slightly rocky start has never gotten in Thato’s way before – and she was soon up where only eagles dare! 

“Take-off was a little bit bumpy but when we came down I could see Sea Point and Clifton and it was the best experience ever. It was an out-of-body experience,” shares Thato. 

It is ‘lekker by die see’ but behind the postcard, it’s taken extraordinary lengths to get here. To an industry dominated by men where black women winemakers are amongst the rarest of the rare, Thato has brought a genius for marketing her brand by outrageous and fun reality TV.

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