Bellingham, one of South Africa’s pioneering wine brands with a history dating to 1693, has incorporated the work of two leading local artists in releasing three exclusive new wines as part of national retailer Pick ‘n Pay’s commitment to selling 25 million bottles in its #SaveSAWine lockdown initiative.
Named The Masterpiece, the wines are a Bellingham Sauvignon Blanc 2021, featuring artwork by Thami Jali, as well as a 2021 red blend and Chardonnay 2021, each bearing a visual by Keneilwe Mokoena. All three wines will be exclusive to Pick ’n Pay and were especially made for the retailer’s #SaveSAWine campaign.
Andrew Harris, marketing director for wine at DGB, the premium South African drinks company that owns Bellingham, says that once invited to be a part of Pick ‘n Pay’s unique campaign, Bellingham immediately decided to link their three exclusive wines for the project to South African art.
“The images selected for the three The Masterpiece wines not only offer a striking deflection from what is normally expected from a Bellingham label, but these visuals on our wine labels also represent the fabric of South Africa’s national soul, a soul that has been touched by the Covid-19 crisis and one where creative endeavours like art and winemaking help to sustain and lift the human spirit.”
Andrew says the idea behind these three wines is to celebrate the vibrance of local creativity as a part of the #SaveSAWine campaign and see the labels as “representing the life-affirming and valiant South African soul.”
The prices for Bellingham’s The Masterpiece range are R100 for the Sauvignon Blanc, R120 for the Chardonnay and R150 for the red blend.
For Gavin Levers, head of Pick ‘n Pay’s liquor division, it’s an honour to have an established brand such as Bellingham as part of the group’s #SavingSAWine campaign.
“Bellingham has been a loved brand and wine pioneer for seven decades and is and indelible part of the South African wine landscape,” he says. “The brand’s combination of offering top-quality wines as well as exciting branding and communication initiatives makes Bellingham a vital part of this #SaveSAWine campaign.”
He continues: “We are blown-away by the effort Bellingham has put into their offering for this venture, taking the initiative of involving South African art that has led to three beautiful labels, exclusive to this chapter in the South African wine industry. Pick ‘n Pay will be offering these three wines with pride and are as excited about these offerings as the public will no-doubt be.”
Homage to Nukain by Thami Jali (Sauvignon Blanc) : This piece is a tribute to Nukain Mabuza who in the 1970`s and early 1980`s created a Stone Garden, or `Garden of Flowers` as he liked to call it, which attracted tourists from around the world. Since his death in 1981 the garden has succumbed to the environment and little is left of the artistic masterpiece. Jali is looking to celebrate Nukains life and keep this important South African artist relevant and the thought was that the Sauvignon Blanc is a good representation of this work as it is floral, mineral and tropical.
Jali’s life and work speaks of the pain and triumph of South Africa, and is intensely human and direct whilst maintaining a complex intellectual underpinning. He renders work that is optimistic and emotionally balanced. The work is beautiful, it buzzes in a way that marks it as current, contemporary, and demands the viewer’s attention. The constructions are never obvious metaphors but lead us inevitably to consider the structures we’ve been part of for most of our lives as South Africans.
Untitled 123 (Red Blend) and Untitled 189 (Chardonnay) by Keneilwe Mokoena: Mokoena prefaces her work with the slogan, “Microcosm to macrocosm. Mind and matter. Organic and inorganic. Everything is bound by self-similar patterns of order and chaos.” In her drawings, she depicts enlarged formations of bacteria, viruses and parasites as if they have been placed under a microscope. “I like to depict the finer details of the natural world”, she explains, “details which the eye doesn’t immediately see”.
We think that this is particularly relevant to wine where there are so many fine, intricate details that never really get seen by the human eye but are beautiful and artistic, only when consumed. This could be seen as a visual representation of what the artistry behind the taste of the wine.