ADSactly Travels - Wait. We Have a Winery in East Africa? New Latitude Wines

in wine •  last year 

Wait. We Have a Winery in East Africa? New Latitude Wines


It is the crazy ideas that wow the world. Everyone thinks that you are crazy for pursuing something and then when it works, they all say how brilliant you are. We need to keep testing and learning. We need to bring the crazy ideas to fruition because they might just work.

One man was crazy (or brilliant) enough to try and plant vineyards in East Africa on the Equator. It had not been done before on this region, in this scale and certainly not for wine production. We all know that East Africa is not exactly a wine producing region. One man decided to go against what everyone told him and he planted some vines in the early 90’s.

S9.jpgLeleshwa Wine Farm from a distance. This was during the dry season. Image

S8.jpgA closer look. Image

He was well travelled and would always receive wines as gifts from his friends abroad. He would bring the wine with him whenever he visited his family in Kenya. His friends would give him the wines and say something like,”this is from my vineyard in…” He heard this so many times and longed for a time when he could also give his friends wine from his farm in the Great Rift Valley region of Kenya.

After seeking some consultation from experts, they told him that the grapes would not do well in the equator because there are few defined seasons. However, in places like South Africa, the conditions are perfect. He did not believe this. He would only believe it after he tried.

He defied all odds and initially intended to make wine for his family and friends’ consumption. His initial aspiration was to make about 100 bottles per year. He planted the grapes and after a few years, he had his first harvest. The grapes did surprisingly well.

S7.jpgJuicy grapes about to ripen. Image

a2.jpgVines heavy with fruit.

Because grapes take so long to grow, he had planted some more just in case. With help, he made his first vintage. He gave people the wine and he got great feedback. He had never intended to go commercial but when the demand became high, he saw an opportunity. He took this seriously and got winemakers and staff in. He also expanded his farms. He constructed a bigger winery and years later, Leleshwa wines are on many shelves in Kenya and other regions. The name Leleshwa comes from an indegenous tree in the area and in the wine farm.

Think about the world map. Back then, people thought that vines would only grow on the latitudes between 30 and 50. However, Thailand inspired the term “New Latitude” wines because they proved that farmers can also grow vines along or near the equator. Some countries along the equator are trying to make wine. An example is Colombia.

The Leleshwa winery has even won different accolades in the wine field. The most impressive thing is that the wine is competing with global wines.

S10.jpg Mesh nets to keep away birds from eating the crop. Image

S11.jpgThis is how they install the mesh nets. Workers busy on the farm. Image

S6.jpgZooming out. See how big the farm is. Image

As the only winery in the country, Leleshwa Winery has received a lot of coverage and piqued interests from people all around the world. They have a Sauvignon Blanc, a sweet red, a sweet white and a sweet rosé. The sweet rosé is amazing and is made from the Shiraz/ Syrah grape.

S4.jpg Image


We visited the wine farm and walked as we got educated on the viticulture and winemaking. We had a picnic by the farm where we got to try different tapas with the sweet rosé. The rosé was a hit among many because it was very easy drinking and sweet.

S13.jpgThat day it was so hot and they gave us umbrellas to take on the trip. Image

a1.jpgThe Farm tour

S5.jpgBefore the wine: Everyone listening keenly.Image

After the wine: Cheers guys!

We then headed for a late lunch by the field where we were surrounded by vineyards and a forest. We got to pair food and wine. The starter was their Sauvignon Blanc and a light chicken salad. This pairing was impressive because they were both very light. In the world of wine and food pairings, lighter foods go with lighter wine. We then had the main which was a juicy ribeye and some mashed potatoes. For dessert, we had strawberry sorbet and equatorial nuts chocolate. We paired the chocolate with the sweet white wine which was a new brand in their portfolio.

S18.jpg Main: Rib eye and mashed potatoes. Image

S17.jpg Image

a10.jpgThe Very Late Lunch set up. Image

As the sun set, we listened to mellow music and sipped more wine until it was time to go back home. I am so excited that there is a winery in Kenya and this is the pioneer for hopefully many more. This puts my country on the map when it comes to wine.


Authored by @jeanwandimi

Pictures by @jeanwandimi and @njoromuts of Sylarstudios

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Really a low hat for all that you did to realize your dream ... a very good example for the beautiful proverb The real challenge is to convince oneself morning and evening to be the person to whom one aspires ...

thanks for sharing your story :)

True, it was nice to read it. Also thank you.

Good of him to ignore the naysayers and apply himself to his passion .A passion that ultimately came thru for him

  ·  last year (edited)

This post is fascinating, @jeanwandimi! The photos, by you and @njoromuts, are informative and evocative. I congratulate you on a successful piece.

I manage the beer and wine department at a grocery supermarket in central Texas. I've learned some about grape varietals and grape farming. I've read about the techniques used at other tropical vineyards. I'm very curious about the Leleshwa operation.

The vineyard land looks fairly flat, with some regular low mounding between the rows, and a cover plant "holding" the mounds. This mounding is good practice, I think, helping with dew collection during droughts, and runoff control during rains. It raises a question: Before the vineyard was planted, was this land tilled?

More precisely, how long was it tilled, how often, and how long did it go without tilling before grapes were planted? Some have suggested that grapes are more successful in the tropics where tilling has been minimal, due to interaction between grapevine roots and the hyphae of beneficial fungi in relatively undisturbed soil.

Your article made me very curious about the people involved, so I visited the wine producer's website. It identified Pius Ngugi as the founder, and his son Mbugua Ngugi as the current vineyard manager. For their family, nut growing has long been the mainstay of their business. The website also had a Yummy Magazine article naming James Farquharson as one of the brand's early winemakers — he had already acquired some fame at Stellenbosch in South Africa — and Emma Nderitu as the current head winemaker.

Were nuts grown on the same land before grapes were grown there?

The other question that arises involves the grape varietals that are planted at Leleshwa. Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz are mentioned in your article. The website also mentions the use of Merlot for blending. I would love to know what other varietals are grown there.

In any case, thanks very much for awakening my curiosity with a superb article!

Wow. This is a very thoughtful response. Let me ask the winemaker a few of these questions and get back to you. But all your facts are accurate.

  ·  last year (edited)

Everyone thinks that you are crazy for pursuing something and then when it works, they all say how brilliant you are.

I love that. It’s sad, but it’s true. I guess it’s also a bigger reward for you proofing yourself to others evethough you absolutely don’t have to. This “man’s” story is a perfect example of “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”. Even though these so called experts told him it’s senseless to do such a thing, he didn’t give up and went with his instincts, as you mentioned “He defied all odds”. He definitely became an inspiration for many. I could tell, you had a great time while spending time at his winery. From wine tasting to food such as 🥩 with delicious dessert. I personally am a great wine lover occasionally. Once in a while we visit winery around us.
Great and inspirational story!

That is true. And I am glad he did that otherwise we would not have such great wine. Thanks for reading.

the best

And that's why we shouldn't bother about distractions when we are working towards achieving our goals. All we should focus is the success ahead of us. Very nice wine.

So big grapes land farm, it seem very delicious wine, thanks for sharing to us informative and usefull article, i like it and upvote and resteem your post to more than 1300 my follower, greeting friendship from me @abialfatih in aceh indonesia

Hey. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

good post, you deserve a good ranking, I follow you.

wow. informative post....very nice drink...
my dear friend @adsactly..
thank you for sharing your post..

your post was very motivational. it will inspired one to success in his life by doing that what he or she wanted to do. Even i am the one who inspired by your post😊.Thanks a lot for this tipe of post.💜💜💜💘💘💘

Nice post brother.

Nice post @adsactly

Nice article, I enjoyed reading :)
I´m a wine fan, whitewine is my favorite ;)

I am also a wine fan and I am glad you loved my story. Cheers!

  ·  last year (edited)

the story is so beautiful from upstream to downstream, the splendor of the grapes, the journey of life, the events that are not easily forgotten, the long journey, the long waiting, the perfect harvest, for those who want to be sure will get it, for those who fear its failure , they fail to please in the old days, this story is not a parable, and this story is not an allegory, this is the conclusion of life, we want to assemble rakit kehulu, then swim is lonely, do not be afraid sick first because happy there in the later.thanks @adsactly,by @iskandar0206 ,by @mitakaya

I am glad you could draw so much value from the story.

Very nice 😊 our grape season has not come yet here I am writing from turkey

How is the wine industry in Turkey?

I love travelling...

nyc images but u knowi love fruites like grapes cuz thesesfruits are too juicy but m in doubt about bear is it halal in islam?
anyways please follow me

nice photography with vineyard plants, nice friends

Wow, this is really impressive.
See how big it turned out to be, guess we have to listen more to our hearts rather than what people say.

It looks amazing. What a fantastic idea.

Que exito, querer es poder, las limitaciones estan en nuestra mente, exelente, todo el trabajo logrado, bella cosecha. Felicitaciones.



nice post..amazing..

Graps jus

Delicious wine . Graps juice


yes the idea is crazy..but extraordinary to amaze other people
incredible brilliant idea

like to meet you!
ok!. Interactive, upvote and follow?

awesome drinks where i should come for this?

wow great, aini vineyards very vast.
with the size of this vineyard, very much accommodating the workforce here.
this is a very good job @adsacstly.

i like so much Juicy grapes its great post

Really greet post l love, good day

Good post. Please follow me @mdasadulhaque

Nice post. Very very nice.


Nothing is impossible! Very inspiring spirit 👍👍👍

this is very big area of vine look like very good, I like vine.

Wow from 100 bottles of wine per year to an industry. You guys apparently have had your fun. The entire write up is very interesting at each stage. Your pictures ain't bad as well, it looks like you went with a professional photographer. Well done for good content.
You got my upvote.

Yes the photographer is very skilled. Thanks for the compliment.

Good post...!!!!

Thank you adsactly for help me with important and awesome information.

Nice blog :) You can check mine as well

Thank you for posting!!

Thanks for your valuable and informative post.

Awesome!! I will follow you!!

Very nice photos and scenery

The best wines should definitely come from East Africa. The best Arabica coffee in the world too comes from there. The reason being the altitude, volcanic soil and favorable climate. Thanks for the great work posted here @adsactly.

Ah. I am glad you recognise the coffee and that is true. Thanks

Thank alot ;)

Wine that make the heart of man rejoy

Good story post. Im Reblog.

যারা steemit love করেন তাদের জন্য সুখবর।আমরা একটি steemit lover group create করেছি আপনি চাইলে আমাদের সাথে যোগ হতে পারেন।আপনাদের কাজ হলো আমরা একজন অন্যকে follow করা এবং আমাদের প্রতিটি মেম্বারের steemit id দেওয়া থাকবে আপনারা সবাই প্রতিদিন একজন অন্য জনে id তে গিয়ে একটি upvote ও একটি comment করবেন।যারা কাজ করবেনা তাদের এই গুরুপ থেকে বের করে দেওয়া হবে।ধন্যবাদ সবাইকে।

Greetings for those who love steemit. We have created a steemit lover group. You can join us if you want. Your job is to follow each other and keep each of our member's steemit id. Every day you go to an id with one upvote And make a comment. Those who do not work will be expelled from this group. Thanks to everyone.

Really greet post l love travel thanks for sharing i like story thanks for sharing

Hi @adsactly introduce my name is @teennesies, I heard you like I care about the crowd, on social life. I am sorry you have visited without prior permission. I just entered and studied at steemit hopefully you can be a motivator for me and my best friend.
Today first I created my blog at introduceyourself.
Thank you.

Amazing photography. I can't move my eyes from the pictures.
Good post, you deserve a good ranking, I follow you.
Upvote [email protected]@@

wow, great concept...

Nice picture

I know drink wine and I especially like to drink fruit wine.
Thank you for your sharing, it is very interesting <3

A una persona le Podrán decir que esta loca por fijarse una meta. Eso no importa. La perseverancia y la fé en que se puede es suficiente para convencer a la humanidad.
El lo llevo a cabo y obtuvo el éxito personal y de la zona geográfica.
Por cierto....... Salud y Leleshwa
Gracias por el post.

Awesome. I love east Africa.

East Africa is the best. Love from Kenya.

In the Rift Valley we have the beginning of the human ancient rests. They know about this rich soil!

Wow ... What a wonderful post! every day I am happy to be in the community of steemit and be able to be informed of these developments and entrepreneurship, this is great. Thanks @adsactly for such excellent news Great from Venezuela Blessings !!

Welldone,this is quite interesting

Everyone looks so cheerfull after the wine!😄 its nice that he didnt give up and planted more trees for the vineyard and from there with alot of patience made a great business with what he loved! Now everyone can enjoy :) great pics and story:)
Great day @adsactly🤗

So cool! I had no idea. Lovely photos too, thank you for sharing something new with me!

i'm waitting you!

love it 👍

We got more of it in the western part of Africa.. we hope to see you @adsactly

One thing i always like about your posts is, travel related nature.. i am also a travel lover and i can know the details in the photos very well... The photographs as always are just amazing...thanks fr [email protected]

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

You just earned yourself a follower, Thanks for this great content. Kindly check my page too. :)

I just love stories like that. "You can't do that". "Watch this!"

A wonderful article about a guy that persevered with his dream and made much of it. I'm impressed with the fact that it competes globally.

We have a couple of small vintners in Arizona. Which is considered too far south and too dry. They are expanding...

Locally, two or three farmers have planted grapes. The announced reason is for raisers, but the grape plants don't all look the same to me... I'm guessing there are a couple of wine varieties in there.

Thanks for an excellent article, I really enjoyed it.

its a beautiful story .

i hope i can go there for picnic

I am so excited that there is a winery in Kenya and this is the pioneer for hopefully many more and also excited that Africans can also produces good wine equally like the Europeans.
I thank God for that and so to East Africa.


Nice trip. Please can i get my own share.

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

Wine is bottled poetry. Traveling to drink makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world and how much still you can drink.

After the wine: Cheers guys

nice grapes and wines

nice drink hehe @adsactly

Wow... Who knew... Very eye opening post...

These photos are just so amazing. I love following you ish. You have such dope experiences. It's great to see people following God's grace..

The Leleshwa winery is proof that crazy ideas would always attract the world to you.
Although the location seemed uncommon, they did it and here they are.

That is so true. A lesson to all f us to pursue those crazy and lofty dreams.

Your pictures are beautiful @jeanwandimi.
Please visit my blog.

Hi how are you

Beautiful story. I admire people who dare to do crazy ideas

excellent post ... I really liked it! I will follow your content

Thank you for posting!!

good job

nice photography with vineyard plants, very nice drink

Nice this post

Amazing photos!

Nice post, nice to meet you @adsactly

OMG!! those photos are beautiful, what an amazing experience!! thanks for sharing with us!

Wow!Amazing & wonderful article,I've ever seen.

Wow. Never knew this. Very interesting indeed

The same way of SoutAmerica it is Africa. The Biogeography says that when the world was a Pangea Africa released a portion which became in America. So that Africa is as fertile as South America and all the crops can be sown getting the desire perfomance