As a child, Vintner Aubrey grew up among the luscious, sun-kissed fruits of Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara.
His father and most of his family and friends were involved in farming on the ‘West Side’; he was always getting his hands dirty. As Audrey grew older, he migrated to pursue other career opportunities.
A few years ago, Aubrey remigrated to Guyana to assist with the family’s pineapple farm. After a few harvests, Aubrey noticed the piles of unsold fruit that were left to rot.
Appalled at this waste, the remigrant decided to find a profitable way to use these left-over bounty. Hence, this was the birth of G.T Wine.
After many trials, the first batch of G.T Wine – Pineapple was tested among family and friends. The feedback was encouraging and Aubrey had finally found his retirement activity. But he didn’t stop there. He began experimenting with new fruits, berries, and blends.
In November 2018, G.T Wine introduced “Strokus”, a blend of Anti Desma & the supposed aphrodisiac, Capadulla bark, which resulted in a sweet rustic wine that was an instant favourite amongst the then small customer base that G.T Wine served. Within months sales began to drive production as the joys of G.T Wine began to spread.
The aim of the company is to involve the community. It seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle not just in the physical sense, but also socially. According to Aubrey, “We at G.T Wine have seen the potential of various fruits and berries that are grown in abundance locally and we are always eager to try new things. It is a really fun experience and we wish to pass that same fun-filled feeling onto the consumer. This is evident in our labels which feature writings or poems addressing different aspects of life.”
“We aim to be part of the evolving Guyana; to be the wine you celebrate with, have brunch with, toast a newborn with. We aim to become a part of the very fabric of the new Guyana. So you can look for us on shelves in all our major supermarkets and rest assured soon we will be in every little shop in every village from Regions 1 to 10.”
Like with every new company, G.T Wine had challenges in its start up as it relates to supply, packaging, and training. Almost all of its bottles and packaging materials are imported, since according to the company, it allows for competitiveness with large importers.
“It is quite difficult to compete with imported wines with a multi-million dollar marketing budget, which is produced for less than $1.50 USD per bottle and later retailed here for US $15-$20. This situation has forced us to be creative and think way outside the box. We are working on offering discounts if you return our bottles at the time of new purchase, or perhaps return a number of empty bottles and bottles get a bottle free. Additionally, we are also seeking to promote recycling and to keep our streets clean. We are not a company that is focused on exporting our products before it is enjoyed first and foremost by all Guyanese.”
“We encourage all Guyanese to try G.T Wine, whether it is with some souse with a glass of Sweet Bebe, some pholourie with our Passion Wine or even better some romantic music, candlelight and a chilled bottle of ‘Strokus’ to celebrate that fifth wedding anniversary. The bottom line is the taste of our local food pairs well with local fruit wines. We have on our wine list, five or six wines that are non-seasonal; these wines are Anti Desma, Jamun, Strokus, Fiesta, and Strokus Boss.”
The seasonal wines include passion, Sweet Bebe, Simply Red, Duka, Golden Apple, Coconut, and Plum. As the company grows, its products will be available year-round. Because the company is still young, its winemaking process takes a number of months per batch. G.T Wines assures its customers that it remains committed to them and will never compromise quality for sales.
“So to all you beautiful people of this sun-kissed land, we welcome you to kick back, relax and pour yours,” Aubrey is urging. Those desirous of exploring the company’s array of wines available from as low as $2,000 per bottle can visit https://gtfruitwine.com/our-blends
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