Vivian Sybil Kleynhans

Vivian is trailblazing change within the industry to which she has dedicated the last decade of her life. As Vivian describes it, “we are not only business owners in the wine industry but we are fighting for equality and to transform the industry.

Vivian spent most of her childhood in a small fishing village called Paternoster, about 150 kilometers from the vineyards of Stellenbosch, where her father worked as a fisherman for the village’s only fishing company. When he lost his job, the family of ten (including Vivian’s parents, seven sisters, and baby brother) was forced to leave their house which was owned by the fishing company, and the children split up to live with various relatives.

Vivian “enrolled in a wine college, attended numerous wine workshops and completed a wine management course at the University of Stellenbosch’s business school.” She quickly found that in order to start a successful wine company as black women leaders in South Africa, they would have to find ways to operate outside of the established infrastructure. Like many women leaders, when they didn’t see a path they could follow, they made space for themselves and changed the landscape all together.

Seven Sisters Vineyards