Charity wine tasting evening at Vivat Bacchus

City restaurant Vivat Bacchus and conservation charity The Wilderness Foundation have joined forces with local fundraisers to host a special charity wine tasting evening. Taking place at the Smithfield Gallery – against the backdrop of an ‘Art of Africa’ exhibition – the aim of the evening is to raise awareness and funds for the Umzi Wethu Training Academy, a youth support project based in South Africa.

The evening's host, wine expert and co-owner of Vivat Bacchus, Gerrie Knoetze will kick off the event with an introduction to South African wines and personally guide guests through the selection. Vivat Bacchus counts some of South Africa's finest wines among its collection of 15,000 and many will be available for tasting on the night, including Jordan 2007 Chardonnay (which was named 'Best Chardonnay' in 2006 by the International Wine and Spirits Board), Paul Cluver's 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Bouchard Findlayson's 2006 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir and Meinert Devon Crest 2003 (one of the wines served at Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday).

The Umzi Wethu programme, which was started by The Wilderness Foundation, targets orphans and vulnerable young people whose lives have been impacted by HIV and Aids. Students are enrolled in a year long course which gives them emotional and practical support while also providing them with the vital skills and training they require to find permanent employment within the eco-tourism industry (South Africa's biggest employer).

This training and pastoral care gives an invaluable ‘foot-up’ to teenagers who might otherwise not have had a chance in life. The students go onto work as game rangers, nature guides or junior chefs in local game reserves. Every penny raised on the night will go towards starting an organic vegetable garden at the academy, teaching students key agricultural skills and enabling them to grow their own vegetables which they will then be able to use in the academy's restaurant.

South African style biltong, droe wors (dried sausage) and cheese will be served during the evening and event will end with a charity auction, when guests will get the chance to bid on some of the wines featured during the tasting.

Tickets are £20 (includes wine and South African nibbles) - please contact Sofia Colussi on 020 7822 0236.