Harry made history at the Knysna Elephant Park in South Africa when he became the first elephant in the world to stamp grapes, an age-old tradition practised by wine-makers for thousands of years. The owner of Boplaas wineries in Calitzdorp, Karel Nel, and his good friend Ian Withers, who owns the elephant park, came up with the idea one day in the Karoo.
“We were talking and after a few glasses of wine, as is usually the case, the best ideas started to flow. We thought it would be a good idea. A percentage of the proceeds from the wine sales will be used for conservation,” he said.
The wines, to be marketed as Boplaas Elephant Rosé, Boplaas Elephant Chardonnay and later Boplaas Elephant Cabernet, will have a label depicting an elephant stomping grapes. The first chardonnays should be in the shops within eight weeks.
Harry was the first elephant on the reserve, which opened its doors in 1994. He is 22 years old, stands 3,2m tall and weighs four tons. He was allowed to taste the grapes before the stomping commenced.
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