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Bosman claims first with SA wine made from Sicilian Nero d’Avola

Published:  22 February, 2021

Bosman Family Vineyards has partnered with South African celebrity Thapelo Mokoena of Bakoena Brands to launch what it claims to be the first South African wine made from the Sicilian Nero d’Avola variety.

The newcomer, named Nero, was born from Bosman’s mission to find a "resilient vine” that would thrive in the Cape Winelands’ increasingly hot, water-scarce climate, as a result of rising global temperatures. 

Following over a decade of research and development, owner and MD Petrus Bosman travelled to Sicily in 2004, bringing back cuttings of Nero d’Avola to Wellington. 

Only two vines survived the journey, from which new cuttings were successfully propagated in the Bosman nursery. 

“Nero doesn’t just survive; it thrives under the bright African sun,” said Bosman, describing the UK debut 2019 vintage, made by Bosman’s head winemaker Corlea Fourie, as a vibrant, modern style of wine focusing on freshness, purity of fruit and drinkability.

“Even on the hottest summer’s day, the grapes remain vibrant and fresh in the vineyard, needing much less water than their neighbouring varietals, yet graciously delivering a wine of astounding quality. This grape perfectly encapsulates both resilience and adaptability. Humankind has an uncanny ability to rise in the face of adversity, and so does Nero,” he said.

Samantha Glanfield, wine buyer at Sainsbury’s from where Nero is available now (rrp: £12), added: “Nero is going to inject a real sense of excitement and energy into the South African wine offering and the wider wine category. This is Italy meets South Africa. Sainsbury’s are thrilled to be on board and supporting this pioneering project.”

To promote the launch, Mokoena has collaborated with fellow South African UK-based music producer Sip Warner, to release a Nero soundtrack and promo video highlighting the Nero messages and “celebrating the rhythm of Africa”. 

Mokoena said: “Nothing brings me more joy than to see our lovely wine taking on the world. A grape this beautiful deserves to be on the global stage. From the African soil with love, here’s a taste of resilience in a bottle. Enjoy Nero.”

Earlier this month, Bosman bolstered its sales capacity in the European and African markets with two senior appointments.