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From refugee to sommelier and movie star: Pardon Taguzu

by Elisa Flitter Fever
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On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Zimbabwean sommelier and actor Pardon Taguzu visits Filmhuis Alkmaar. He is here because the documentary film Blind Ambition, in which he plays himself. A sold-out room full of wine lovers enjoyed the true, inspiring story on the big screen and the wine tasting beforehand.

With sommelier Pardon Taguzu from Blind Ambition at Filmhuis Alkmaar
With Pardon Taguzu from Blind Ambition at Filmhuis Alkmaar

Blind Ambition

When your bus ticket is more expensive than your monthly income, it’s time to look elsewhere. Pardon, Joseph, Marlvin and Tinashe must have thought this when they fled from dictatorial Zimbabwe. Separately, the four young men become ZimSomm, or sommelier from Zimbabwe, in leading South African restaurants.

When one door closes… you open a bottle!

In the heartwarming, inspiring documentary Blind Ambition, we follow the four during their sensational participation in the prestigious world wine tasting championships in France. Like sending a bunch of Egyptians to the Winter Olympics as a ski crew!

An ambitious plan, in which twelve different wines must be guessed purely by tasting. Through crowdfunding, they raise the registration fee and hire an experienced coach.

With tones of ambition, perseverance and passion, an inspiring story is created by Australian directors and film producers Robert Coe and Warwick Ross. Blind Ambition can be seen at Amazon Prime, among others.

Pardon Taguzu

His Italian tailored suit and smart leather shoes give nothing away about Pardon Taguzu’s life story. On the other hand, the label of his wine brand Dzwimbahwe does show where the cheerful sommelier annex actor comes from. A walled village with huts in a valley in Zimbabwe. Pardon is one of the four men who play himself in the aforementioned documentary film Blind Ambition.

As an entrepreneur in African wine, Pardon moved to The Netherlands six years ago. He currently has a vineyard in Austria, good for about 20,000 bottles a year. During the wine tasting we get to know three of the six wines. The fresh Grüner Veltliner crackles on the tongue, our favorite! At home in his house in Zaanstad, a bottle of Champagne and a bottle of Riesling are always cold.

Pardon is still looking for an importer for the distribution of his wine to, among others, the Netherlands. He also advises catering companies. The vineyards in the south of The Netherlands are still on his bucket list. Climate change presents both challenges and opportunities for viticulture, says Pardon. He dreams of one day being able to set up a successful vineyard and winery in his native Zimbabwe. Sauvignon Blanc is a good contender given the drought, Pardon says.

Thanks Pardon!

Team Zimbabwe in France - Blind Ambition Pardon Taguzu
Team Zimbabwe in France – Blind Ambition

Want to read more about vineyards? Earlier I wrote the English article Want to read more about vineyards? Earlier I wrote the article Schilcherland, the Austrian wine region that calls to be discovered big time about an Austrian wine area that turned out to be an undiscovered gem. about an Austrian wine region that turned out to be an undiscovered gem.

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Last Updated on 11/24/2022 by Elisa Flitter Fever

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