Monis have been the undisputed leaders in the fortified wine trade for decades, honing their winemaking process over generations, keeping true to the traditional Spanish way of producing fortified wines, while always looking for new and innovative ways to improve their product. Monis fortified wines are made the honest way, with a healthy dose
of technological modernity.
To truly understand what makes Monis fortified wines so special, their aromas and flavours so powerful and so elegantly exquisite, what makes them so versatile – perfect as cocktail mixers or as pairings for Tapas spreads; one only needs to take a look at the rich
history of the brand.
Monis owes its name to the Moni brothers, immigrants from Tuscany who established
themselves in South Africa in 1902. Guiseppe Moni, one of the brothers, started an import
business where he traded in olive oil, cheese and wine. In 1915, he expanded and started the
Italian Warehouse Company, manufacturing pasta, whilst making his own range of natural and
fortified wines, including a Marsala, a Moscato and a selection of sherries and Cape Vintages
in a cellar he purchased in Paarl. Guiseppe’s brother, Roberto, proved himself an extremely
adept winemaker and businessman and took over the spirits-production side of the business.
Monis Wineries Enterprise Ltd was established in 1921 under Roberto’s leadership, beginning a decades-long history of innovation and world-class wines. It became the first winery in South Africa to use cold fermentation in 1939, welcoming the age of large-scale cooling. Monis were also the first South African winemakers to put a vintage on their labels and the first to employ the notions of pasteurizing of semi-sweet wine in the bottle and of
stabilizing bulk wine.
In 1956 Moni opened the new Monis cellars with its own private railway siding. That same year, Monis wines were amongst the first wines to be exported to France. As wine merchant and winemaker, Moni came full circle from wine importer to wine exporter. He stayed actively involved in the wine industry until his death in 1972. 1966 signaled a new era for Monis when it was sold to the company that is now known as Distell, ushering an age of even grander
scope, both in terms of product ranges and distribution.