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The Wine Club a chat with Aniekan Udofia

Tell us about the Wine Club and your background & What is the inspiration behind the Wine Club

Xis Wine Club: The services we offer range from wine tastings, public and private, to wine list curations as well as wine sourcing. Additionally, we are looking to go into working with restaurants/bars/cafés on their wine selection and pairings

I currently work in project controls for the family business, however, prior to that I worked at an events company and recently got my MBA. Last year after completing my MBA, I knew I wanted to do something different from what I had been doing before but I wasn’t sure what that looked like. I got certified as a project manager, but I still wasn’t satisfied because I couldn’t still figure out how I wanted to use it.

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I decided I needed a challenge. I’ve always been interested in wine and during the lockdown I would join seminars and online tastings at the wine school near me to occupy myself and to do something different. Scrolling through Instagram, I came across an advert on for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses. A short time after, I took level 1 and now I’m about to take (and hopefully pass) my level 2.
Studying wines, tasting wines, pairing wines, these are things I thoroughly enjoy. Gaining more insight into why a particular grape variety tastes and smells the way it does fascinates me and knowing that there is so much more to learn about the world of wine is truly exciting because it means that I won’t get tired on my quest for wine knowledge.

I somehow feel like Xis has been a long time coming because it merges all my strong suits and passions together, planning and wine.

How is covid-19 affecting your soirees?

Covid 19 has limited the number of people we can have at our events; however, this has given us the opportunity to keep them small and intimate. This has allowed us to be extremely careful because Covid is very much still around.
The event that just passed was our 1st official one so in line with safety guidelines we tried to keep our guests as safe as possible. At the moment for events of a certain size will be hosted outdoors not only for the ambiance but for the safety of our guests.

Made in Nigeria wine? Can you talk about the feasibility of that
The wine making latitudes have historically been between 30degrees and 50degrees north and south of the equator, this is because these conditions are naturally better for the vines and anything above or below that would not be conducive to the wine making process. It would either be too cold for grapes to ripen or too warm and would have irrigation issues. However, thanks to new developments i.e., technological and viticultural advances and climate change, we are seeing more and more countries outside the normal latitudes popping up such as, India and Kenya.

In the wine industry, Nigeria is considered a “lower latitude” country. In theory Nigeria should not be able to produce wine because we are too close to the equator and the closer you are to the equator the hotter it is and Vitis Vinifera (the grape variety that produces wine grapes) are not able to grow in these conditions. But as aforementioned, due to advances in technology and viticulture, we can adapt the vines to suit our climate.
This will not be without challenges as it could seem like a risky investment but I’m hopeful that one day we’ll get there. If we have the right people behind it, I’m sure that we will succeed at it.

How often does the wine club happen and who is it for?
The aim is to make our meetings a regular thing by holding monthly tastings.

Xis Wine Club is for wine lovers, wannabe wine lovers and or people who want to gain more insight into the world of wine, or for those simply looking for something fun and different to do.

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