Linga Fruit Wine now in UK
The opportunity to taste the growing local wine has presented itself through the vision of Francis Kaunjika of Africanos World in Shipley, Yorkshire, U.K. who has been importing several Malawi delicacies for the wider community, especially the flagship Malawi Gin.
The launch of the product expands a growing list of Malawian products being sold and marks a milestone for Linga Wine which became popular in Malawi in 2002, from the small beginnings in 1978, the Linga Fruit Wine range gradually became known.
The various fruits are procured from local smallholder farmers when in season throughout the year, and there is a strong and long term relationship between Linga Wines and the local fruit farmers. Linga Fine Foods and Winery was legally registered as a company in 2005 when small winery premises were constructed.
Fruit Wine making is nothing new for Dr Timothy Ngwira, the Managing Partner of Linga Winery in Lilongwe. In 1974, Timothy and family went to University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC Canada (UBC) for his PhD studies in Nutritional Biochemistry. In 1978 he successfully completed his PhD. It was on their journey back to Malawi from the University of British Columbia that Rev Tom Colvin, who was in London, kitted the Ngwiras with proper equipment and literature for fruit wine production. Dr Ngwira currently harnesses his academic knowledge of biochemistry and fermentation processes to produce wine from seven fruits which are individually fermented and bottled. From 1996 till 2002, Dr Ngwira was Head of Food Science at the University of Namibia where he taught Fermentation Technology and carried out research in Fruit Wine production.
The name Linga means a fortress in Chichewa and was the village of Timothy’s mother, late Emily Na’Phiri of the Malangano line of Mwase Kasungu. She was a strong and much loved mother and a great story teller. They say “Linger longer with Linga Wine!”
The Winery premises were expanded in 2015 giving increased processing and storage capacity – though still on a small scale, with a production capacity of about 20,000 litres. The premises are inspected by Lilongwe City Council. In addition, Linga winery is certified by the Malawi Bureau of Standards and is currently working on ISO 22000 accreditation. Groups of rural wine makers come for training as requested and students on academic placements.
Linga Wine tasting tours are an event on the Lilongwe social calendar and are always great entertainment while participants gain knowledge at the same time. Linga Wines are a fixture at the amazing monthly Woodlands Farmers Market, and are now also available in Shoprite main stores as well as the many smaller outlets and hotels
Linga regularly receives requests that until now they have not been able to fulfil to despatch Linga Fruit Wines to other countries. So far they have had to decline such requests but that will be a thing of the past as now they will point them to Francis and Africanos World online delivery!
After a much appreciated linkup between Francis Kaunjika of Africanos World by the Malawi High Commission in UK and Linga Winery, a consignment of all 7 varieties was sent to to Africanos World in Shipley (UK) at the end of November 2016 as the first external sales. These are available both physically at the Africanos World Shop in Shipley, Yorkshire, U.K. and also available online. The High Commission is keen on introducing new products on the UK market.