Darren Gough unveils Care for Wild wine range

28 September, 2020

England cricket legend Darren Gough has officially launched his eagerly anticipated Care for Wild wine range in partnership with Freixenet Copestick.

Twenty per cent of the profit made on each bottle of wine will go to the Care for Wild rhino sanctuary in South Africa.

Gough has supported the charity for several years following an emotional visit to a sanctuary during his playing days. A chance meeting with Freixenet Copestick managing director Robin Copestick at a charity event led to the creation of the new brand.

Copestick, whose firm created the popular I Heart brand, said: “I was lucky enough to be sitting next to Darren at a charity event in December, and we discovered our mutual love of wine, cricket and golf, not necessarily in that order.

“Darren started talking to me about his involvement with Care for Wild. I saw the logo. I recognised that in the UK, while South African wine is really amazing at the moment in terms of quality and value, there isn’t really any brand that is doing a brilliant job within the multiple retail sector.

“I saw an opportunity to create a brand that could add value to the South African category, but also to raise money for such an amazing charity. Darren was very keen, the guys at the charity were very keen, and thanks to some help from Jodie [Newman, creative lead] – who designed the labels – and from other members of the Freixenet Copestick team, we’re where we are now, nine months later, which in wine terms is really quick. I am very proud of everybody for doing that.”

The wines have launched this week at Slurp, the online retailer owned by Freixenet Copestick, but there are “big ambitions” for listings in both the on-trade and the retail sector.

Gough is among the top 10 most successful wicket-takers in the history of English cricket, having played in 58 Test matches and 159 ODIs. He is nicknamed The Rhino.

He said: “It’s so exciting to launch the Care for Wild wine range. I’m absolutely blown away by the team and what they’ve put together in such a short space of time.

“It’s all about the rhino. It has been close to me for a long, long time. In 1997, I went to Kenya for an ICC tournament, and I went to an orphanage on one of the days off. I was rolling about in the mud with the baby rhinos. One of them was charging at me and playing, and I found out he was called Magnum, and I took a real shine to Magnum, and we adopted him and paid his way for a few years until he was released into the wild. We got update letters and we found out what was happening to him. He became a father to a little boy called Magnet. That’s where the rhino thing started.

“Anna [his wife] was the one who got us involved in a rhino charity to start with. After volunteering and spending time at Care for Wild, with our children, we were blown away by the charity. It’s an emotional place to go, and it’s so rewarding to help and see first-hand the work they put in. The art on the labels is magnificent. I hope everyone enjoys the wines.”

Anna Gough added: “I’m so passionate about the charity. My love has always been animals. Once I looked deeper into the tragedies that are going on, with the poaching and the slaughter of these animals, I came home and I said to Darren one day, we need to jump on board and do whatever we can.

“I have managed to get out to Care for Wild and do some volunteering. What really stood out for me was the care and passion and 24/7 love that goes into this species. The rhinos are left so traumatised. People think, they’re animals, the don’t feel anything. They really do. The way they are introducing them out into their own natural habitat [at a large, secret location in South Africa] is amazing.”

There are three tiers to the Care for Wild range. The entry-level tier includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinotage-Shiraz blend. Both wines are fruit-forward, easy-drinking and affordable.

The next tier up is the Arthur range, named after one of the rhinos featured on the Care for Wild label. The other is called Odin, and they have both benefited from the love and care on offer at the sanctuary in South Africa.

Arthur was seriously injured and orphaned when he was brought to the sanctuary in 2018, but he eventually recovered following several months of specialist care.

The Arthur tier includes a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend, a Syrah-Viognier blend and a pale Pinotage rosé featuring a splash of Chenin Blanc. The red and the white are from Walker Bay.

The top tier comprises the Protected Collection Chenin Blanc, made from grapes grown in Swartland, and the Protected Collection Shiraz, made in Elgin.

The entry-level range is sold for £6.95 at Slurp, while the Arthur Range is sold for £9.95 and the premium tier is £15.95.

Peter Horton, former general manager at China Tang in London and a wine industry consultant working with Freixenet Copestick, said: “I think the wines do the charity credit, because they are really good and I think they’ll do really well in the shops.

“We need to see more South African wine in our shops, because they’re such great value for money. They have also had a hard time of it recently [due to a strict lockdown in South Africa]. This range of wines will put South African wines back on the map with the general consumer, I am convinced of it, and what a great cause for them to be a part of.”

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.