Kumusha means ’your origin’ or ‘your roots’ in the Zimbabwean Shona language. It denotes a feeling of belonging, rather than a physical place – and this producer has quite the origin story.
Tinashe Nyamudoka moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2008 to start a job polishing cutlery at The Roundhouse in Cape Town. Moving through the ranks over a couple of years, working in different establishments and rising in the service industry, he landed up as head sommelier at The Test Kitchen under chef Luke Dale-Roberts. In 2016, while at The Test Kitchen, Tinashe also won the Eat Out Wine Service Award, in the same year that the restaurant ranked under the top 50 restaurants in the world. Since then, Luke Dale-Roberts has created food and wine pairings with the Kumusha wines, including a scallop dish with the first Kumusha white wine, a Chenin-Semillon blend.
A chance meeting with winemaker Attie Louw from the Breedekloof region in South Africa sparked an entrepreneurial mission in Tinashe. He got the opportunity to create his own wines in the Breedekloof, and they first hit the market in 2017.
The grapes come from three regions in the Western Cape: Breedekloof, Swartland, and Elim. With minimal intervention and natural fermentation, Tinashe wants the wines to be representative of the regions where the grapes are produced. In a collaborative process, Tinashe takes the wines’ origins as well as the end consumer into account, and create a range of wines that reflect the direction that he believes the South African style is moving towards.
Since leaving The Test Kitchen, Tinashe has become a regular wine judge, wine jury member for the Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards in Germany, and a panelist for Wine of the Month Club. Together with three fellow Zimbabweans – Joseph Dhafana, Marlvin Gwese, and Pardon Taguzu – Tinashe is also part of ‘TeamZIM’ which competed at the 2017 and 2018 World Blind Wine Tasting Championships in France, and earned a well-deserved 14th place during their second competition. The team and their success is now the topic of a documentary, Blind Ambition, which follows their journey to France.