Founder & Chief Executive Officer
André Shearer is co-founder and chief executive officer of Cape Classics, importer of South African and French wine to the United States. A native of South Africa, Mr. Shearer was driven to introduce the U.S. market to the finest South African wines his country produced. As a result, he co-founded Cape Classics in 1992 shortly after trade between the U.S. and South Africa resumed following the end of apartheid, with a focus on high-quality boutique producers whose bottlings matched his standards of excellence.
Today, Cape Classics has grown to bear its seal on 35% of all bottled South African wine available in the U.S., the largest player in the South African wine import business. In 2013 Cape Classics expanded its portfolio to include wines from France, a natural extension due to the many historical and stylistic synergies the two regions share.
Cape Classics and Mr. Shearer have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Wine Advocate, The Wine Spectator, CNBC, BBC News, and other national trade and global consumer publications as well as in the South African media. The company was named “Best U.S. Wine Importer” by Food & Wine Magazine in their annual American Wine Awards. The American Friends of the Phelophepa Train honored Mr. Shearer with the 2015 Desmond Tutu, Phelophepa Achievement Award for Excellence for his accomplishments globally in the wine industry and for the introduction of a new 501(c)(3) foundation called the Indaba Education Fund.
Keen to continue building a positive image of South Africa worldwide, Mr. Shearer serves as consultant to global organizations investing in his home country. With great personal interest in Early Childhood Development, particularly within the wine growing areas of South Africa, he appointed the Indaba Education Fund as founding partner of a major philanthropic effort to bring AMI Montessori education to the youngest and most vulnerable of the Winelands community. A portion of the global sales from Cape Classics’ Indaba brand is allocated to the Indaba Education Fund which functions as part of 3-organization partnership designed to provide infrastructure, learning materials and teacher training to schools established for vineyard worker’s children.
Academically, he attended Medical School at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Following university, he spent seven years working as a fashion model in Europe where he put his fluency of four languages to work.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Shearer splits his time between New York and Somerset West, South Africa. He is a proud father of three sons.
February 19, 2017