Whether you have a sister or you have friends you consider sisters, sisterhood is kind of a big deal. Not to discredit the men in our lives, brothers, husbands and the like, but it’s difficult to describe the bond woman share all over the world in the name of sisterhood. Our “sisters”, always seem to know just what we need to get through this thing called – life. If we are feeling low, sisters give us wings. When we are successful, they share the moment and encourage us to keep on shining! When we are completely out of control, they meet us head on until we can keep our cool. When we need a defender there is no greater a warrior goddess. And when we are filled with delusion, they tell us the truth – even if it hurts. Sisters love us for who we are at every stage in our lives regardless of time passed. Distance is irrelevant and status has no bearing. Sisterhood really is quite magical.
The Brutus sisters of Paternoster, South Africa are an inspiring group of women who embraced their sisterhood to break into the white male dominated wine industry. In fact, they are one of only two black family owned wineries out of 3,000 in their country. That seems utterly amazing to me. But what is more amazing is how they started. While very young, the family was evicted from their home after their father lost his job of 20 years in the fishing industry. Due to their financial circumstances, the family was not able to stay together and the children were split up among various relatives. The seven sisters and their baby brother John had aspired to one day return to their quiet village in Paternoster, but twenty years would pass before their hopes would come to fruition. After extensive research, diligence and funding on the part of eldest sister Vivian, the sisters reunited to create a new destiny when they launched the Seven Sisters wine brand in 2007 (African Roots Wine).
As African women, they had no land or vineyards. They were basically a virtual company. Today, their wine can be found in 27 states and only recently has their own country started to take notice of not only their wine, but their accomplishments too. Each Seven Sisters Wine has been skillfully created to match the style and character of each sister. Tonight I am enjoying a 2008 Chenin Blanc – Yolanda that we purchased at Albertson’s for $7.99 . If your new to vino or if you found yourself overpowered by a white wine like a dry chardonnay, this is the wine for you! This wine doesn’t scream for your attention, like an overzealous first date. It’s more of a go with the flow vintage. It’s light and a little tart on the palette, but finishes well with hints of passion fruit. Perfect for a hot summer day when you want a chilly glass of vino to sip in the shade. Personally, it was a little too mellow for me, but it is a great for someone who wants to drink wine without it really tasting like wine. Kinda like that first date; no commitment. Heck, you could even throw in a splash of lemon-lime soda and invite a few sisters over! I don’t want to say it’s a great “housewife” wine, but during my taste test, I envisioned a hard working housewife rounding out her day with a glass vino just like this.
Ironically, Yolanda is the housewife of the bunch, but almost all the sisters contribute their talents in some manner to the winery’s success whether it is sales and marketing, event planning, logistics or flower arranging and catering. According to their website, the sisters have obtained 9,000 acres of land near Stellenbosch. There are several areas in South Africa that have a gravel under-structure of shale, granite and sandstone, making the need for formal irrigation unnecessary. The soil is able to retain its moisture during dry and hot summers. Perfect for growing grapes! Seven thousand acres will be planted in vines and will be tended by their brother John who will take over the wine making when he has finished his studies in oenology and viticulture at Elsenburg. They also plan to add another wine to their line, appropriately named, “John Brutus.” (although I think this has already happened…time to update your site ladies) What’s sisterhood if you can’t help a brother out now and again? Empowerment is a beautiful thing.
And while we are basking in the glow of sisters and sisterhood, this review would not be complete without mentioning the Seven Sisters constellation (click here to read a version like you’ve never read before!) and Cyndi Lauper’s classic, “Sisters of Avalon” embedded below. I witnessed her perform the acoustical version live several years ago and loved it.
(A special note of ‘thanks’ to all my sistas. I am forever grateful. You know who you are.) Cheers!
Aromatique: Had a very difficult time getting much from the nose. Almost nonexistent.
SipQuips; Light on the palette. Very mellow semi-tart wine with hints of passion fruit. Beautiful golden color. Finishes well.
Kitchen Couplings: Salads, fish, light pasta with white sauce. Asian cuisine.