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After settling in South Africa in 1990, Argentinian-born Billy Hughes was inspired to start his own wine venture in the Cape. His farming interest grew from visiting wine farms in Mendoza as a boy with his father who was an agricultural engineer.
To begin his adventure, Billy planted vineyards on an old wheat farm in Malmesbury, in the Swartland, which shortly afterwards became one of the top wine-producing regions in the Cape. With the support of his late wife Penny and daughter Kiki, Nativo wines were created with the intention of producing wines that reflected the natural flavors of their place of origin. The name Nativo, meaning “native” in Spanish, was coined to symbolize Billy’s native origins and the wines that are reflective of the land they come from. The embossed, semi-elliptical circle of the minimalist label also reflects the simplistic and natural approaches to winemaking, as well as the natural cycle of life. At the Hughes Family Wines, it is very important that the ecosystem of the vineyard is respected, as it is it just as important for creating a good wine as the winemaking techniques.
A minimally invasive approach to winemaking is taken when producing Nativo, so as not to disturb the natural processes of the wines. This, when combined with a balanced soil environment and organic and biodynamic approaches to viticulture, allows the development of unique and diverse flavours, which give Nativo wines their signature. This also makes the wines excellent food wines, as their subtle diversity complements food rather than undermines it.
“While each blend is an individual, they are each a distinct combination of different ‘shades of flavour’ sourced from the same ‘palette’ that the vineyard supplies. Our only job is to listen to the wines and give them what they need to reach their full potential.” – Kiki Hughes