For Mother’s Day, Mahalia Kotjane, assistant winemaker at Lievland Vineyards in South Africa, will have to Zoom with her toddler twins; the country was on lockdown at harvest so they went to stay with her parents.

Mother’s Day will unfold quite differently this year. Maybe you’ll Zoom with your mom. Perhaps you’ll do a drive-by and honk and maybe yell out the window that you love her. Possibly a socially distanced brunch, in a spacious backyard, with affectionate toasts?

To honor the holiday, we checked in with a quartet of winemaking moms—from Oregon and Sonoma, and from Italy and South Africa, which celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10 like we do—to get their thoughts on the occasion (and a bottle recommendation as well).



Winemaker at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Oregon

How you plan to spend the holiday this year?
This will be my first Mother’s Day and it will certainly be one to remember! I imagine we’ll spend the day working in our yard and enjoying life as the three of us. While quarantine is difficult, there is a special sense of calm and togetherness we’ve been able to experience as new parents.

Wine recommendation2017 Penner-Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $45

This wine is bright and vibrant with a lighter body and offers lush cherry, plum, pomegranate, some herbs, cedar, and a hint of earth and vanilla.



Winemaker for Matanzas Creek Winery, Sonoma County 

How you plan to spend the holiday this year given the current circumstances?

My ideal Mother’s Day this year will be spending time gardening with my two daughters. We have plans to do a small secret garden in the backyard, and we are planning to start a summer garden, too. I believe that creating sweet memories is an essential aspect of being a mother. I heard them conspiring the other day, so who knows what they are planning.

Wine recommendation2017 Matanzas Creek Winery Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, $22

This lighter-bodied wine is a perfect spring sipper, offering citrus, tropical notes and lovely minerality.



Assistant winemaker, Lievland Vineyards, Paarl, South Africa 

Do you have a special Mother’s Day memory?

When I was growing up, Mother’s Day was accompanied by a special lunch, great laughter, and happy tears with family around the table. I remember a particular Mother’s Day during my first year in college. I stood to share how thankful I was for my mom and all the sacrifices she had made. Suddenly I had tears running down my cheeks. That moment made me realize how truly special she is and how much I love her for the support she’s given me to follow my dreams of being a winemaker even though they collided with some of her personal beliefs. 

This year will be unique. It will be spent on a Zoom video call. The Covid-19 pandemic saw South Africa go through a nationwide lockdown during harvest. Given my responsibilities in the cellar and the unpredictability of harvest, I decided to send my twin toddlers to my parents who live near Johannesburg. That ensured I could continue to harvest whilst I had peace of mind that they would be happy and well taken care of.

Wine recommendation2018 Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc, $19

This is an easy-drinking wine that’s refreshing with nice acidity and notes of white peach, and pineapple. It has really nice structure, allowing it to age a bit, but you can still drink it now. It’d be great with heartier seafood and even some pork dishes. 



Owner Borgo Scopeto  and Caparzo

Do you have a special Mother’s Day memory?

For us, Mother’s Day and wine are so closely related. Every year we celebrate at the hotel on the property of the winery–Borgo Scopeto Relais. In years past we celebrated with a fantastic weekend full of good food, special lunches and dinners, and guests from all over. This year we are thinking of celebrating in June, when we hopefully reopen.

Wine recommendation2017 Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico, $21

This medium-bodied wine shows really nice red fruit on the nose backed up by vanilla and a bit of oak and is followed by some earthiness, leather and smoke.

(All photos courtesy of the wineries)