Seven Sisters Wines – a taste of family
01 January 1970
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Brad Brown: Welcome back to Old Mutual Live, great things start here, great things start now. A while ago, we caught up with Vivienne Kleynhans, from Seven Sisters Wines. To talk a little bit about her journey from Paternoster, a little fishing in the Cape; to the wine industry, and a thriving wine business as well. Vivienne, welcome back nice to touch base once again, welcome.
Vivienne Kleynhans: Thank you, Brad.
BB: Vivienne, we spoke your journey and some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are now. I said in that podcast we’d get you back on to talk a little bit about the brand. The Seven Sisters brand and the wines you produce on another edition, and that edition is today. Tell us a little bit about, obviously you grew up in a fairly, large family.
You mentioned in the first chat that you were evicted from Paternoster because your dad lost his job, and that sort of galvanised the family and brought all the children closer together. Tell me a little bit, about why you decided to incorporate the family brand, essentially in your wine brand.
Why we are a family brand
VK: Well, you know when I had a look at the wine industry I saw it was fairly large in wine farms and brands, but fairly small in or close in family businesswise. I thought what would be different if I move into the wine industry.
I had got a bit of wine or marketing I would say, general marketing behind me. So I looked at, and what kind of brand name will help us to bring wine to people. I looked at what my mum and dad left behind for us, when they passed away, and all I could see was my sisters.
Then the idea came about my Seven Sisters, and we have a younger brother. That is where the name originated from that we will call our brand Seven Sisters. We would tell our true story, where we come from and what we’ve endured and went through; and could maybe be an inspiration for other families to get together and work together.
We sat around the table and I introduced the concept to my sisters, and they were all happy. Then we started to look at the different kinds of wine cultivars that we will bring on board; and which one would suit a sister’s personality and character.
How we matched ourselves to the wines
We were doing that for days on end because did like online Myers Briggs Personality Test. Then we would do, amongst each other, we would write up about the one. One would up about the other one’s personality, and then we, also ended up in fights.
Because they would say but you’re a Sauvignon Blanc, and I would say, “I’m not a Sauvignon Blanc. I feel I’m a Pinotage.” It would carry on like that for days and eventually we came to a conclusion that; and we only closed that after everybody was sort of satisfied with his cultivar that would carry her name.
That is where the brand originated from. Yes, we are just telling our stories to other women, owners or people who would like to open up their own business. They could see where we came from. It’s a true story and we could encourage other people to open up a small business and it will grow. If you persevere, have faith and, yes, this is where we are at the moment.
We have started to plant our own vineyards since 2013. Next year we will harvest. Our first harvest will be the Chardonnay and Shiraz. We’re planning to put that in a Seven Sisters reserve brand because it will be our own vines, our own grapes. Then it will be oak fermented and it will be a premium wine that we will bring to the table by the end of 2016.
BB: It sounds amazing. Lots of exciting things on the boil, so to speak. But Vivienne, looking at those Seven Wines and the different cultivars, obviously each one sort of linked to one of the sisters. Am I allowed to ask if there’s a flagship amongst them or are they all equal?
VK: No, we’re all equal, and when we go to the market we say, we are seven biological sisters. We are not stepsisters, so don’t take only one or two. You have to take all seven.
BB: I love that.
VK: We have a Rosé.
The seven wine’s of the Seven Sisters
BB: Yes, I was going to say tell me about the seven wines and the Seven Sisters.
VK: Yes, so the younger sisters have all sweet wines. So we have a Pinotage Rosé, we like the Pinotage grape because it’s a South African grape, and it’s a sweet Rosé. We have a Moscato with a bit of sparkling in it. Then we have just introduced a sweet red wine for the three younger sisters.
Then from me upwards, it’s a Sauvignon Blanc, which is a dry wine. That is called Vivienne. Then Dawn is the Pinotage/Shiraz blend, just because Dawn always seems to have a bit of my mum and dad’s personality that the sisters discovered. Then the Merlot is called after sister, June. The Cabernet is called after the eldest sister, Carol.
BB: It sounds amazing. I love the fact that there are stories behind the wines, and if you’d like to check them out you can go to the website sevensisters.co.za. You can purchase them online as well. Vivienne, I think the story is incredible and you touched on the farm and growing your own vines as well. I know you’re in the process of building a facility where you’ll be able to do tastings as well, and I’m going to get you back on another edition of Old Mutual Live to tell us a little bit about the farm.
I know you did allude to how you obtained that piece of land but we’ll get the story behind that as well, and take it back to your roots in Paternoster. Because I know you love hanging out there as well, with your sisters and the rest of the family. But we’ll save that for another edition of Old Mutual Live, if that’s good with you. Thanks for your time today.
VK: Yes, thank you very much Brad. Keep well. Bye.