Taste for fine wine leads to new brand

Rosemary and son Mojalefa Mosia with other family members are proud owners of Bridge of Hope wine label./Supplied
Rosemary and son Mojalefa Mosia with other family members are proud owners of Bridge of Hope wine label./Supplied

Rosemary Mosia and her children are taking over the wine industry with their award-winning Bridge of Hope brand.

Mosia, 52, who hails from Emndeni in Soweto, was recently a part of the creme de la creme of black-owned wines who were served at President Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration last month.

"When I moved to Cape Town [in 2001] I was exposed to wine and I started to read and learn everything about it. I just fell in love with wine," Mosia said.

She said despite her passion, it took her more than 10 years before she was able to kick the venture off the ground.

Mosia, who runs Bridge of Hope with her children, Mojalefa, Lebohang and Moleboheng, said she plans for the wine to become a family legacy.

"When I started Bridge of Hope, my daughters were still in matric and I would talk to them about it. But both of them went back to Johannesburg to pursue their studies. So I mainly work with my son now," said Mosia.

Mojalefa, who is 23, is in charge of marketing of the brand, while his sisters use their expertise in law and the food and wine industry to help with the running of the business.

The wine producer said having their wine consumed at a big event such as a presidential inauguration was important because of a lack of black representation in the industry.

"One of our challenges is we struggle to get our wines as black people listed in restaurants. So some restaurants list us after we explain to them who we are but some of them they just don't," she said.

Mosia said the only way they can sell more wine was to be listed in restaurants and be sold in mainstream liquor shops.

Despite these challenges, she said her extensive career in accounting and auditing has prepared her well for running the business. Mosia previously worked in finance at state-owned entity Transnet before taking her pension to pursue her dream full time.

"I am of the belief that if you have a financial background you can do anything," said Mosia.

The wine, which includes blends such as pinotages, sauvignon blanc and merlot, is produced on Lintonparks Wine Estate in the Western Cape.

Mosia said this was part of an enterprise development programme where new wine producers were mentored on not only on how to make wine but how to sell it internationally.

Although she has had a tough time in the white-male dominated industry, her wines have become popular internationally.

"I want to own land and make my own wine and I am currently eyeing a piece of land near Lintonparks," she said.

Mojalefa, a former rugby player for Boland Institute, said working with his mother has been an educational experience.

"The best thing about my mother is her motivational drive and willpower to succeed and these are the traits I have adopted from my mother," said Mojalefa.

Wendy Peterson from South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit said the industry aiming to transform 20% of the industry by 2025. "Our efforts are part of the broader Wine Industry Strategic Exercise, which aims to strengthen the South African wine and brand value chain," she said.

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