Port2Port: South Africa's first online wine start-up receives strategic backer

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

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South Africa’s first online wine retailer, Port2Port, is set to develop its platform, grow its product range and boost its marketing efforts following a strategic investment made by former First National Bank chief executive and venture capitalist Michael Jordaan.

Port2Port was launched in January by Nicolò Stortiglione Pudel, Managing Director of Pier2Pier and Vincent Bührer, owner of Saxenburg Wine Estate, to provide customers with access to a carefully curated catalogue of distinctive South African and internationally-acclaimed wines at the click of a button.

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As part of its continuing expansion, Port2Port also offers a selection of blended malt and grain Scotch whiskies, marking the website as a one-stop hub for discerning enthusiasts of quality alcohol.

Jordaan invested in Port2Port through his venture capital firm Montegray Capital and will become a director of the company. Jordaan is well known for his love of wine, and has been chair of industry association Wines of SA since last year.

Vincent Bührer, owner of Saxenburg Wine Estate, said: “Having someone with Jordaan’s business acumen on board is an incredible boon to Port2Port. We’re going to use this investment to improve our warehousing, logistics and overall customer experience, both online and offline. We’ll also be evolving our platform, which we are constantly curating to include more custom products, as well as investing in greater marketing efforts and exposure.”

“We believe that the experience and mentorship of Michael Jordaan will be of great value to the company, which is obviously rendered much easier through a shared passion for the products we list and plan to list in the future.”

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Port2Port’s online presence includes in-depth tasting notes and pairing suggestions, weekly newsletters, user-built “mixed cases”, profiles on featured farms, a user-rating and review system, as well as archives of vintage and specialty wines.

The Port2Port platform is revolutionary in its promotion of a social media community for wine enthusiasts and experts, which up to now has not existed in South Africa. The startup aims to educate consumers about winemaking, farms, styles and vintages to facilitate an engaged, unified and large-scale South African wine community.

Bührer concluded: “Wine and whisky should no longer be mysterious commodities. We would like to reward passion and interest for the art of wine making and whiskey blending, with an insightful communication and highly interactive service, which is why we are so passionate about Port2Port.” 

Read the October Issue of African Business Review. 

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