"Charity starts at home. When I investigated the idea of entering the wine industry, I decided to go back to my roots and start a wine label with my sisters . . . a sisterhood celebration – each wine carefully selected and styled to match the personality and character of each sister, celebrate their bond and devotion to one another – a fitting tribute to sisterhood indeed!" ~ Vivian Kleynhans, Brutus Sister and the “Brain” behind African Roots Brand
The Brutus sisters are the heart and soul of Seven Sisters wines, part of the African Roots Wine Brands portfolio, and each of the seven biological sisters has a great story to tell. The sisters source their wines from small dry-farmed vineyards tended by indigenous peoples in Swartland on the Western Cape of South Africa. They also own 7 hectares (15 acres) of vineyard in nearby Stellenbosch that will shortly be coming into production. Presently, each of the seven sisters has a wine in the Seven Sisters portfolio named for her that matches her personality. John Brutus, the sisters’ baby brother and a trained enologist, will soon be joining his sisters and have a wine named for him as well.
Mythology has it that the seven sisters (Pleiads), daughters of Atlas and Pleione, were nymphs in the train of Artemis and nursemaids and teachers to the infant Bacchus too.
The seven sisters behind this label in the African Roots Wine Brands portfolio are biological sisters and hail from Paternoster, a picturesque fishing village on Africa’s Western Cape. The Brutus sisters, along with their baby brother John, had to leave their home when the family was evicted after their father lost his job of over 20 years with a local fishing company. Now, 25 years later, their wine brand, Seven Sisters, launched in 2007, has been a way to change their destiny.
Today, the siblings often meet up on weekends at Paternoster to go kayaking, and feast on crayfish, bokkems (salted dried fish) and other local delicacies. The town is one of the oldest along the West Coast and was named after a prayer. The story goes that long ago when the first European (Portuguese) sailors were stranded and shipwrecked, they would pray that one day they might see their homes and families again. The prayer started like this, Patre Nostre which translates as “Our Father.” Today, Paternoster is equally famous for its white-washed fishermen’s cottages and curving white beach. Paternoster provides an abundance of seafood caught by the local fisherman on their little boats. Apart from the bounty the sea provides, the village boasts some 1200 different plant and flower species.
The Seven Sisters wines are named after each sibling and it starts from youngest to oldest. The range consists of Bukettraube-Odelia, Pinotage-Rosé-Twena, Chenin Blanc-Yolanda, Sauvignon Blanc-Vivian, Pinotage/Shiraz-Dawn, Merlot-June, and Cabernet-Carol. The 2009 Seven Sisters Sauvignon Blanc-Vivian was recently selected by American Airlines, the first South African wine ever, to be served on their flights. No doubt we will be hearing more about the Brutus family’s wines, as they expand their facilities and the family vineyard comes on board.