The Bridge of Hope Wines is one of the wineries who will be featured at the upcoming Women of Wine South Africa (WoWSA) Festival. It is a family business founded by entrepreneur Rosemary Mosia – a teetotaller before the wine bug bit after a visit to the Cape winelands in 2001 – and her two daughters Moleboheng and Lebohang.
teetotaller: a person who never drinks alcohol.
The event, which is being held in celebration of Women’s Month, takes place on Sunday, August 12 from 11h00 to 16h00 at the Candlewoods Boutique Venue in Centurion, and will also feature craft beer, gin and spirits made by women.
Mosia has always been an entrepreneur – her postgraduate studies in Masters in Leadership Management focused on SMMEs – but it was a visit to the winelands 17 years ago which changed the direction of her life.
“I was instantly fascinated by the wine industry but realised that not only did I want to drink wine but I wanted to make money from it,” she recalls. So she started learning and studying all she could about wine.
Before she started The Bridge of Hope Wines, she met with the owner of Ses’fikile Wines, Nondumiso Pikashe, and owner of wine making company Re’Mogo Holdings, Thamsanqa Hombana, who taught her the business of wine making. She also partnered with farmers to cultivate her wine since she didn’t have a farm to harvest her own grapes.
Tell us about your wines that will be shown at WoWSA and what foods they pair well with?
The Bridge of Hope Wines is comprised of three collections: The Classic Collection, The Premium Collection and The Reserve Collection. The Classic Collection is all about ease of enjoyment. Light bodied but flavourful wines to be opened as and when the time beckons! Clear varietal characters are evident on both nose and palate. And as all these wines are unwooded, they are perfect for sipping solo.
The Premium collection wines have a more luscious mouthfeel, somewhat more textured and deeper in taste than the Classic wines. Other than the Sauvignon Blanc, these varietal wines have been matured in oak barrels which lends the weightier and warmer texture to the wines. The oak never over powers but supports the fruit flavours.
Wines designated as Reserve will come from site specific blocks which have consistently yielded concentrated and intense berries on the bunches. The wines are full bodied, with integrated oak characteristics and luscious berry flavours which lead to an extended and lingering fruit driven aftertaste.
We’ll be showing the Bridge of Hope Premium Chardonnay which pairs well with a spinach salad, toasted almonds and dried cranberries, tossed together in a bowl and dressed with a sweet and tangy vinegar and oil dressing full of sesame and poppy seeds. An absolute must is salmon with a creamy dill sauce. Our Premium Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with a Chicken Saltimbocca smothered in parmesan cheese and rolled with mozzarella and prosciutto and baked in white wine. We’ll also be presenting our Premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
How involved are you in the selection and blending process of Bridge of Hope wines?
I am totally involved from the selection, all the way through to production. Our winemaker, JG Auret has been handcrafting The Bride of Hope Wines portfolio since 2012, and we’ve always had a great working relationship. As the head of this business, it is my responsibility to make sure that my team is cohesive. Building a strong team takes time and dedication. But it’s guaranteed to pay off when your team becomes strong and productive and starts contributing to your company’s success – from the beginning to the end.
Why is it important to involve your daughters in TBOH Wines?
We all want our daughters to be the real-life super women they were meant to be – confident, believing they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. This industry has always been dominated by the white-male demographic, and it was important for me to include them in the business because society often relegates females to a role of passivity – awaiting rescue – rather than taking action to determine her destiny. It’s always been important to me to create an environment where women are consistently reminded of their power and compelled to reach for the stars. I regularly solicit their opinions and I’ve always made intellect and work ethic a focus since they were little girls. They know that there are countless women who are doing work that they are passionate about and making an impact in the world. I have worked tirelessly to expose my daughters to those you know in real life: starting with myself.
How will you be spending Women’s Day and what is your wish for women?
We’ll be spending Women’s Day celebrating the women we admire. There are many wonderful women doing powerful things, and we can all find ways to support their enterprises! This Women’s Day, visit that gallery run by that woman whose art you admire, splurge on that outfit by that designer you adore, download that innovative, game-changing app created by a woman. My wish for women this Women’s Day is that they love themselves; know they are beautiful and strong and remember that a rising tide lifts all boats. Don’t compete – there’s room for all of us in any sphere. It’s a big world. Ignore the naysayers and take charge.
How difficult is it as a woman in the wine business in what is still a male dominated industry?
Ask any women in any male-dominated industry their experience in forging a path and you’re likely to hear a lot of anecdotes and vastly different stories — some good and some not so great. There is a celebration of Wonder Women in Wine throughout the world, with get-togethers, awards ceremonies and a plethora of focused events. It allows us all to celebrate the successes of women in what, without me actually realising it until recently, is probably still a male-dominated industry. My daughters and I have had to work twice as hard to get half the recognition. Closing the gender gap in any male-dominated industry is no small feat and breaking ground in SA’s wine fraternity is no exception. But it’s happening.
Your advice to other female entrepreneurs?
Do not be afraid to fail. You have to move outside of your comfort zone at all times because without guts there is no glory. Always get feedback. Feedback is critical to validate your business, so you can’t be apprehensive when receiving constructive criticism. Keep learning. The key to growth, innovation and success is knowledge. Become an expert. I’ve always fostered a reading culture in our home, and that has stayed with my daughters forever. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. You won’t get help if no one knows you need it. Minimise negativity people. Entrepreneurship can be quite burdensome, so don’t distract yourself with people who don’t believe in you. Network, network, network because your network is your net worth. Last but certainly not least, dream big because you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
Anything else you would like to add?
Given our current environment which is so charged with sexual politics, it seems like a good time to take stock of the status of women in the wine industry today. It hasn’t been an easy journey but the current climate and the future are definitely looking rosier.
In addition to the unlimited tastings on offer at WoWSA, guests will have the option of purchasing a wide variety of foods. There’s everything from mini bunny chows (chicken, lamb, fish, curry and vegetarian) served with sambals; cheese platters; lasagna with salad and paella to a taco station.
All wines at the tasting event will be on offer to purchase and drink with lunch as well as to take home. Wine Menu will deliver purchased wines for a small additional fee.
Music will add to the relaxed atmosphere and there will be entertainment for children.
Numbers are limited so booking is essential. Tickets are R150 a person with children under 18 free. Book via http://www.webtickets.co.za/
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