The Brutus family hails from the sleepy town of Paternoster, a fishing village economically centered around the local fishing factory. Jannie Brutus, father to the seven sisters and brother John, worked at this factory and was married to Dina Brutus.
When Vivian was 18 years old, her father, Jannie Brutus, lost his job after twenty-five years of service at the fishing factory in her hometown of Paternoster. This resulted in the eviction of the Brutus family from their factory house and their dispersal as they were split up into pairs of two to live with relatives. The family had to leave their hometown of Paternoster.
It was 20 years later that the separated Brutus sisters were reunited and began working towards realizing their vision of creating their family business.
From left to right: Lutwena, Dawn, Carol, Odelia, Vivian, Yolanda (below), June, John
John Brutus Reserve
With Vivian Kleynhans (née Brutus) at the helm, her journey in wine-making is an interesting one. Not only did she enter the industry as a self-taught wine entrepreneur, when starting out on her wine-making journey, she also created one of the most established emerging wine brands in South Africa. Vivian’s vision was to one-day establish a business and legacy for generations to come. In a 2003 speech, the South African Minister of Agriculture & Land Affairs (now Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development) Angela Thoko Didiza encouraged people of colour to participate in the higher value chain of the Wine Industry. People of colour were excluded from this industry until 1994, when South Africa became a democratic country. Upon investigating the industry, Vivian found that 9% of employment in South Africa was attributed to farm workers in Vineyards (5.4% in 2020 Q4). Today, the Wine Industry’s export market is worth 9.1 billion ZAR (643 million USD).
In 2009, the seven sisters and brother acquired a piece of barren land to build their new home. own winery/tasting facility and the planting of wine grapes. Seven Sisters Vineyards is situated in the heart of the Winelands in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Here we receive international and local tourists to do wine tastings and wine and food pairings. Now 10 years later, Vivian has developed the land. The planting of vines, building of a tasting room and restaurant as well as a wine storage facility. Seven Sisters Vineyards is a first-generation wine farm. In 2016 the Brutus family reserve wines were produced in collaboration with neighbouring vineyards and from the vineyards of their own farm.
Seven Sisters Vineyards is one of only 3, 100% black owned wine farms. We have created an inclusive space, based on our West Coast culture and vibrancy in the heart of the Winelands. We offer an inclusive family experience, whether it an authentic home-cooked meal or a picnic on the grass, the surroundings are breathtaking - with mountains on the one side and beautiful landscapes on the other.