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Meridian Prime


Meridian Prime:  An import himself—from Stellenbosch to Pelham–Ross Toombs brings his South African wines stateside so you can finally sip the best out of Africa.

Ross Toombs is about to become your role model. A wine pro, he made deciding what to pour easier by starting his own importing business in his 30s. You can’ t have his life, or cool accent, but you can borrow his knowledge and buy his native wines. Tired of cheap wines misrepresenting his alma mater, he began importing the best out of Africa, from the Afrikaans equivalent of Napa.

His firm, “Meridian Prime” is named for the Prime Meridian, the line of longitude of 0 degrees which must be passed between crossing between North America and Africa—like his imported vintages. The Vuvuzela, an iconic symbol of the last World Cup, was originally made from Kudu horn and was traditionally used for communication between far off South African villages in remote rural areas. The modern Vuvuzela, like its namesake wine, VuVu Cellar, combines similar elements of tradition and innovation. The Xhosa word ‘Sela’ also means to drink, and so we invite you to drink Vuvu Cellar, and celebrate an expat’s new venture to bring the great quality wines he grew up with stateside. The company also promotes wines made by Christo, a black South African forced to quit school at 14 to work on a sheep farm. He had a knack for grapes, moved to a table grape farm, and eventually a vineyard, and is now an Assistant Winemaker for another of Meridian’s imports, Eikendal.

Thanks to a $50,000 loan from Community Capital New York, you can sample wines from vineyards closest to the Cape. Vines in the Hidden Valley get lots of sun but are cooled by the winds from the sea in a perfect maritime and mountain microclimate in the shadow of Table Mountain. White wine grapes mirror the Rhone’s, with peach and nectar flavor coating the mouth, and the unique locale gives the  wines nice balance and an unusual blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon.  Reds are equally delectable.

Great value, great taste. But not yet in wide distribution—so be among the first! The back story:

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