Bosman Family Vineyards is thrilled to have been selected for the Platter Guide Editor’s Choice: Winery of the Year Award for 2024.
This award recognises a winegrowing team who, based on performance in the current edition, as well as track record, are ambassadors par excellence for South African wine.
“My grandfather, also Petrus, used to remind me: ‘just do something a little bit better every day, and that will lead to success,” says Petrus Bosman, CEO of Bosman Family Vineyards. “That is the philosophy we live by on the farm.”
Our extended farm family has been living and working on this farm for over 200 years. To still be here and thriving has taken a determined dedication to better from all of us, not only in the community but on the land where we live and work.
We believe that our inclusive approach, matched with the balancing of tradition and innovation, has allowed us to thrive. “This award is for all of us, every single worker in the vineyards, the cellar, the teachers in the crèche, the nurse in the clinic, the technologists in the laboratory, the accountants in the office, the security at the gate … we’re all in this together.”
Head winemaker Corlea Fourie accepted the award on the farm’s behalf: “I am immensely proud to receive this award because it speaks of the combined effort on all fronts. A healthy community can grow healthy grapes in healthy soils, which in turn produce excellent wines that keep the momentum of this symbiotic relationship moving forward.”
Corlea’s winemaking philosophy is simple: “To make wine that authentically expresses its provenance we need to think deeply yet act with care-filled restraint.”
This award gained extra shine with the Platter 5 stars awarded to the Bosman Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2022. This single vineyard, Old Vine wine has been a standout ever since the first vintage was made in 2007 and perhaps sums up best Corlea’s philosophy and the farm’s approach. This vineyard, planted in 1952, was destined to be taken out because its yield was low. But Corlea and Petrus decided to vinify it separately just once and see what it could do. They were astounded by its beautiful and unique depth of flavour and complexity. Since then, the vineyard has been farmed regeneratively and the wine is fermented naturally in the cellar, aged only in neutral vessels so that the wine can express itself in all her glory. This ‘grande dame’ has become a legend, and this latest achievement simply cements her place in the cellar hall of fame.
DEDICATED TO BETTER
This award was for more than just our 5 star wines but also for our ‘track record’ and ‘ambassador’ quality. So here is a little more about our big story:
“While we believe in the value of tradition, we understand that through change, rather than continuity and conformity, our legacy will continue long after us,” Petrus Bosman.
A. GROWING COMMUNITY
To date, the Bosman Adama land transformation transaction in 2008 is the largest land reform deal in the South African wine industry, where the workers own a 26% share of our agribusiness.
Since then, this Fairtrade accredited business has grown significantly, providing job opportunities and a better standard of living to 450 employees and their families in our 3250-strong farm community.
Our generation, Generation 8, is committed to ploughing 2% of branded sales into improving the lives of our community. This is where our funds are directed:
- 98 children (ages 1-6) attend our crèche, nurtured by 9 qualified teachers who receive continuous training.
- Our Aftercare tracks the needs of 92 children and provides support and stimulation.
- Psychometric testing helps our high school learners make good choices for their futures.
- Learners receive personal assistance in applying for tertiary education.
- Funds are channelled into education, transport (3 busses) and sport to create opportunities for development.
- Adults are given opportunities for advancement from literacy classes and vocational skills to management coaching.
- 4 out of 4 of our winemakers are women. And women make up 50.21% of our workforce and 34.86% of management.
At Bosman Wines, we believe that our natural environment is integral to the sustainability of our community, and that the responsibility for pro-active conservation rests with each one of us. From the propagation of grape vines in our nursery, to the growing of grapes on our land, and ultimately to the making of Bosman wines in our cellar, we consciously employ practices at every level that will conserve our resources, reduce waste, facilitate growth, promote regeneration, and ultimately reduce our carbon footprint.
- Using sheep instead of herbicides for weed control in winter months.
- Instead of applying chemical fertilisers, we brew compost tea which enriches the soil with Carbon. Microbes need Carbon to digest Nitrogen, and plants need Nitrogen to photosynthesize and produce healthy, robust grapes. In the year since we started applying the tea, the level of organic Carbon in the soil has grown by 220%.
- We have created eco corridors which allow beneficial insects and plants the ability to multiply and migrate.
- We practice water stewardship by converting our vine nurseries from overhead sprinklers to drip irrigation saving 215 000m³ litres pa.
- Cover crops are planted between the vineyards to sequester Carbon, enhance biodiversity, diminish water evaporation, prevent erosion and fix Nitrogen in the soil.
- Uniquely, as both a vine grafting nursery and a wine producer, we are involved in the entire process from vine to wine.
- Our Plant Improvement Facility ensures we provide healthy plant material for clear varietal character, not only for our own use but as the most progressive nursery and plant improvement facility in Southern Africa. 135 new wine grape varieties or clones were selected over the last 7 years.
- Solar panels supply 50% of our electricity need at 450 kVA/h.
- A drone sprays hard-to-reach high-lying vineyards, decreasing reliance on diesel-guzzling tractors that erode and compact the soil.
- Vineyards are irrigated by gravity flow.
- All lights in our cellars and warehouses have been changed to LED.
- Plant waste is chipped and applied as mulch to our vineyards to decrease evaporation.
- No harmful insecticides are used on crops. Instead, natural predators combat pests such as mealie bug and thrips.
- In 2021 we became an accredited Carbon Hero through the Confronting Climate Change initiative. This in-depth, exhaustive report measured our carbon footprint and gave us a baseline from which to work.
- Our farm in the Upper-Hemel-en-Aarde has been awarded WWF Championship status since 2021 and last year Bosman Hermanus was named Best of Wine Tourism & Ambassador Awards 2023 in the category: ‘Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, a competition run by Great Wine Capitals Global Network.
The mood on the farm is upbeat since the award. Everyone gets it: We did it together, and so now we’re even more dedicated to better!
Come and visit our farms in Wellington and Hermanus and see for yourself!
WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA