Pure synchronicity and fortuitous friendships, as well as a deep and sincere love for wine, led to the birth of Black Elephant Vintners. Kevin, Raymond, and Jacques combined their uniquely diverse skillsets in an earnest endeavor to reclaim fun in the creative process of winemaking. They established their title as the rebels of the vine by constantly trying to demystify the winemaking process to all enthusiasts.
By cutting out the stereotypical yadda yadda and pretentiousness of the wine industry and dedicating their raw passion to the craft, the three rebels successfully created a unique range of wines with unrivaled character. Wines that appeals to a wide variety of desires, diverse tastes, and extraordinary occasions. Real wine, for real people.
So what makes this triptych function so brilliantly? Body, mind, and soul… it is the unique contributions each of the three rebels bring to Black Elephant Vintners. Jacques is the body, providing what you can see and taste. Kevin is the mind, bringing innovation through creatively cultivating radical ideas for growth and Raymond is the soul, finding immense value in how much clients appreciate the wine and how they become part of the tribe by selecting BEV wines for their special occasions.
Kevin, multitalented like the other two rebels, qualified as a Civil Engineering Technician from Natal Technikon. After working in Durbs for a bit, he realised this wasn’t for him and moved to Johannesburg to join a Venture Capital firm, EPI Investments. He spent 23 years in the financial services industry, including time as a Trader on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, during which time he co-founded and managed Noah Financial Innovation, a local stockbroking firm. The company was sold in 2011 to Religare Capital Markets, allowing Kevin the opportunity to re-evaluate and find new inspiration.
“Having become disillusioned with the financial markets, it seemed real to be dealing with nature and making something that you could touch and feel, not to mention taste,” is how Kevin best sums up his entry into the wine industry.
Raymond, originally with a background in finance, got into the wine industry out of curiosity. After a seven-year tenure at Standard Chartered Merchant Bank, Raymond moved to South Africa. He loves the ocean and decided to settle in Cape Town. Here Raymond collaborated in the establishment, growth and eventual exit of Prodigy Asset Management. After he moved to Jozi in 2002, he met his business partner and co-creator, the “black” in Black Elephant, Kevin Swart. They co-founded and managed institutional stockbroker, Noah Financial Innovation until July 2011, when they relinquished their controlling interest to Religare Capital Markets.
“The family’s decision to move to Franschhoek in July 2012 was spontaneous and bold. Our decision to create Black Elephant Vintners was inspired.
Wine Maker and Viticulturist
This lanky and laid-back winemaker is originally from Paarl. He spent his first five years on the infamous Robben Island. He completed his schooling in Paarl and went to Elsenburg to study Viticulture. After working at various cellars, at home and abroad, he returned to Elsenburg to further study Winemaking. He graduated top of his class. At Warwick estate, his passion for creating complex red wines was ignited. He learned of his love for bubbles at Môreson.
In January 2013, Jacques joined the other two rebels at Black Elephant Vintners. Old School at heart, Jacques believes in sticking to the basics such as open-top fermentors and a basket press “It’s not rocket science,” he quips. “I just prefer making clean, healthy wines. Then I have a solid basis and can experiment when it comes to the blending process,”.
Wine Inspired by Tunes. Our Festival Wines are for Fun, Parties and Good Times. Backstage Wines come from carefully selected vineyards that have either a story or a history. And finally the Golden Circle Wines are made for the VIP that is you, made to the highest standards and the most personal winemaking techniques.