Toasting success with Guyana’s first winery

Master winemaker, Warren Douglas proudly displays two of his Pandama vintage from his winery and retreat located at Madewini, on the Linden Soesdyke Highway in Guyana.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

When Warren Douglas decided to produce wine on a broad scale, he chose his homeland where the pristine natural environment, and variety of fruits were the perfect welcome back for the Guyanese-American who left his adopted Charlotte, North Carolina home for a life of tranquility.

Douglas’ wife Tracy, a fashion designer and painter also wanted to embrace her talents and share her knowledge with others, so four years ago the couple combined their skills and embraced a future that opened up new vistas for them in the peaceful Madewini region, on the Soesdyke, Linden Highway.

Today, guest are relishing in the 17-acre tourist attraction that is home to “Pandama Retreat and Winery” – where visitors sip the vintage made from fruits such as Jamoon, a small purple fruit akin to blue berry, Sorrel that has medicinal properties, Anti-Desmond, Cherry, Noni, Five-Finger, also known as Carambola, and the Malacca Pear.

“Pulse”- a libido booster and enhancement tonic made from the Kapadula bark, and six others indigenous to Guyana and the Amazon Basin, and geared to induce blood flow to a man’s pelvic area, is one of the Pandama’s top sellers.

The connoisseur stated that Pandama Winery creates exotic fruit wines of extraordinary elegance and sophistication, and celebrates the tropical flavors of Guyana. The winery recently introduced a line of naturally fermented red and white wine gourmet vinegars. These amazing products he said are marinades and tenderizers for all types of meat, fish and tofu.

The sweeping grounds of Pandama also gives the entrepreneurs the opportunity to host wedding and commitment ceremonies, family reunions, bird watching and nature trail adventure, and staff development workshops.

The former U.S. military man, who studied chemistry, used this knowledge as a catalyst to experiment with various fruits while living in his North Carolina home, a venture that blossomed into a successful cottage industry with the use of Georgia peaches.

With the help of family and friends across America who enjoy their gifts of Douglas’ vintage, the aficionado embarked upon an adventure as a small business owner returning to his roots to till the land and share his love of winemaking with his countrymen and women.

“We have had a great response to our wines in Guyana said Douglas whose intention is to make his line of wines available in as many places as possible. “There is a real need for quality local wines in Guyana, both for Guyanese here and in the Diaspora, he added.

Douglas is happy that Pandama Wines has made it to many tables in the U.S. and the UK during the holiday season since it was established, and intends to keep producing the alcoholic drink. “Our focus is not mass production, but rather providing a quality product that is satisfying to all of our customers.

“We are now poised to introduce Pandama Wines to the rest of the world. We are pursuing the necessary export certifications to allow the company to reach as many wine lovers as we can, according to the website.

The Master Winemaker expressed how wonderful it was to be back home in land of birth. A once city boy who migrated to the US thirty-one years ago Douglas said, “I am having a great time in my own world, away from the big city. “I want to encourage other Guyanese who want to pursue a small business or large enterprise, to come back and take a second look at Guyana.

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