Joseph Dhafana’s story is one of perseverance and talent, a sort of rags to vinous riches tale. He is the son of subsistence farmers in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. As a child, he tilled the land with oxen and walked 12 km to attend the nearest school. As a young man, he sought a better life and crossed the border to South Africa, where he found opportunity and a future in the wine world.
Joseph started out as gardener at a local bar in the quaint Swartland town of Riebeek Kasteel, was promoted to barman and introduced to the world of wine. He then started taking wine courses where his talent at tasting wine was revealed. Next thing you know, he is head sommelier at one of Cape Town’s finest restaurants, La Colombe, and then in 2014 he started selling his own wine, with a little help from Chris Mullineux. He is one of the stars of the documentary Blind Ambitions, which tells the story of four Zimbabweans who attain success as sommeliers in South Africa’s top restaurants.
Joseph’s Mosi winery markets more than one wine, but I tasted just one, the 2021 Miso Chenin Blanc, as part of my tastings for an upcoming report on the fabulous Chenin Blancs of South Africa.
Mosi 2021 Tinache Chenin Blanc Swartland 91 A bit reticent on the nose, but the full flavored, nicely textured palate more than compensates showing fresh citrus and pear with lighter stone fruit notes. Well balanced with firm acidity complementing a suave mouth feel. Sourced from a 38-year-old single Swartland vineyard and aged 10 months in used oak. 13% alc.