Cape Classics’ CEO Receives Prestigious Award

The American Friends of the Phelophepa Train has honored Andre Shearer, Chairman and CEO of Cape Classics, with the 2015 Desmond Tutu, Phelophepa Achievement Award for Excellence. An aspiring social entrepreneur and philanthropist, Shearer is recognized for his phenomenal accomplishments globally in the wine industry and for the introduction of a new 501(c)(3) foundation called the Indaba Education Fund, which will support early childhood education in the wine growing regions of South Africa. The award presentation will take place during the American Friends of the Phelophepa Train Annual Gala on Monday, November 30th at 6:00PM, at Guastavino’s in New York City.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by such an inspiring organization whose likeminded philosophies support our work in promoting social change in South Africa,” remarked Andre Shearer, Chairman and CEO of Cape Classics. “Our efforts in the Indaba Education Fund 501(c)(3) champion the improvement of early childhood education, while the Phelophepa train brings quality healthcare to the regions in which these children live. Together, we will strengthen the impoverished communities of our country and build a better future for our youth.” 

Phelophepa, which translates to “good, clean, health” in the Sotho and Tswana dialects, is the inspiration of the organization, which operates the largest mobile clinic in the world. In the 21 years that the Phelophepa trains have operated, they have helped over 21 million rural South Africans in need of medical care. It is for this reason that the mobile units are often referred to as the “Train of Hope.” 

The Indaba Education Fund—a 501(c) (3) organization—was founded by Shearer and his team at Cape Classics, inspired by the Indaba wine brand that remains a hallmark of the importer’s portfolio. The charity’s aim is to improve early childhood education in the impoverished areas of the South Africa by training teachers in the Montessori method and sending them to educate the children in these regions. Shearer discusses the project in this short video:


Proceeds from tickets sales and a live auction will go toward the construction of a third train which will house surgical facilities, a service that has never before been able to be offered to patients of the organization. For more information visit or to purchase tickets to the Gala visit Forty percent of all monies raised by Shearer for the event will be graciously donated to the Indaba Education Fund to support Cape Classics’ own charitable initiatives in South Africa.

Cape Classics was co-founded by Andre Shearer in 1992 with a mission of bringing the crème de la crème of South Africa’s then-fledgling boutique wine industry to the American market. In 2013, Cape Classics expanded its portfolio to include wines from France, and now proudly represents 28 of the finest estates and labels from the regions. Cape Classics’ mission is to provide a unique range of selections that are exciting and delicious and that offer outstanding value.