TANZANIAN wine industry does not have much international recognition; however, it is the second largest producer of wine in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.
Compared to the rest of the world, the history of wine in Tanzania is very recent and dates back to just a few years before independence. Tanzania only has one major grape growing region and it is based around the capital city Dodoma.
The most common grape varietals in the region are Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and a local variety named for a Dodoma sub-region, Makutupora.
Initially wine production and grape growing was limited to missionaries, however, in 1969 the government entered the market with the formation of the Dodoma Wine company. Vines were first introduced in the country by members of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Holy Ghost in 1938.
The missionaries from the Hombolo Catholic mission planted their first vines near the Kondoa District in Dodoma. Initially the vines grown were used for domestically making wine for religious practises and domestic consumption.
In 1957 Passionist Father Irioneo Maggioni, of the Bihawana Mission started his own commercial farm from three vine seedlings out of curiosity and the farm grew rapidly to a commercial scale.
After independence the local government took interest in the industry and made their first investment into a fouracre grape farm at Dodoma Isanga Prison 1961.
The program was very successful and in just three years expanded to 5 of the nearby villages centered around the prison. In 1963, the national service camp in Makutupora also joined the scheme and began growing grapes in the village that created a new center for grape growing around the village.
In 1963, the national service camp in Makutupora also joined the scheme and began growing grapes in the village that created a new center for grape growing around the village.
In 1969 the prison built a winery plant and was Tanzania’s sole purchaser of grapes for wine production in the country.