The scope of the subject of wine is never ending," wrote British (and world) wine authority Hugh Johnson, "so many other subjects lie within its boundaries. Without geography and topography it is incomprehensible; without history it is colourless; without taste it is meaningless; without travel it remains unreal. It embraces botany, chemistry, agriculture, carpentry, economics – any number of sciences whose names I do not even know. It leads you up paths of knowledge and by-ways of experience you would never glimpse without it."
Almost all of these elements converge in a single project which was undertaken by the Vineyard Hotel Guests strolling along one of the many paths in the beautifully lush gardens will discover a vineyard once more along the banks of the Liesbeek River.
This vineyard is more humble than those which were present when its original owners took occupation of their new house in February 1800. Naming their property The Vineyard was easy – since there were some 22 000 vines already planted there! Famous Cape diarist Lady Anne Barnard and her husband Andrew, colonial secretary to the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Earl Macartney, moved into their newly built house in February 1800 – right in the middle of the annual grape harvest. It was almost 141 years earlier, to the day, that Jan van Riebeeck wrote his famous diary entry on February 2, 1659: "Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes."
In February 2009, South Africa celebrates the 350th anniversary of winemaking. The replanting of this vineyard is just one of the measures to commemorate this historic occasion. "The intention is never for this to be a commercial project," says the Vineyard Hotel General Manager Roy Davies. "Yes, we fully intend to harvest the vines – and we will supply them to our five wine partners – Meerlust, Warwick, Simonsig, Waterford and Klein Constantia." "Our idea is to bring the hotel's history alive for our guests. Not only can they visit our genuine vineyard planted with a range of grape varieties, but we can use it to enliven our wine offering. We would like for the hotel and wine to be synonymous – and we want it to be more than having a Diners Club awarded wine list offering in our restaurants or an excellent sommelier making recommendations."
The five wine farms involved in The Vineyard project also boast significant winemaking histories: the Malan family has produced wine since 1688 although Simonsig was established as recently as 1953, Meerlust has been in the Myburgh family since 1756, the Warwick wine track record goes back to 1791 and Klein Constantia's dates back to 1818. Waterford may have only been around in its present form since 1998 but it was once part of the original Stellenrust landholding – granted in the 1700s as Rustenburgh but later renamed to avoid confusion with the other farm of the same name. Hannes Myburgh (Meerlust), Johan Malan (Simonsig), Mike Ratcliffe (Warwick), Kevin Arnold (Waterford) and Lowell Jooste (Klein Constantia) have all thrown their weight behind this project, assisting with the vine selection, assessment of the site's suitability, soil analysis and labour, said Roy Davies. "It's a real pleasure to be involved with a group of guys with their vision, history and winemaking track record."
The Vineyard Hotel not only hosts 20 wine and dine evenings a year but is already the venue of choice for annual wine events.
For further information contact the Vineyard Hotel
on 021 657 4500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Long recognized for producing world-class wines, Meerlust Estate has been
the pride of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the traditional dedication
to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh,
eighth generation custodian of this seventeenth-century national monument.
to view their website: click here
The pursuit of wine excellence knows no boundaries at Simonsig Estate, the legendary Stellenbosch landmark where family tradition and innovation have
fuelled four decades of quality winemaking. Named after the awe-inspiring
views of the Simonsberg.
to view their website: click
Warwick wine estate was known as the farm ‘Good Success’ from 1791 until
1902. After the Anglo Boer war, Colonel Alexander Gordon from Warwickshire
regiment bought the farm and renamed it ‘Warwick’ as a tribute to his regiment.
The Company Waterford Wines (Pty) Ltd was formed by the acquisition of 120Ha
of prime Stellenbosch vineyard land by Jeremy & Leigh Ord in April of 1998.
Winemaker, Kevin Arnold, planned the building of a new winery, as well as
the redevelopment of the orchards and vineyards.
to view their website: click
Sought after by the aristocracy of 18th and 19th century Europe, favoured
by Napoleon and praised in the novels of Dickens and Jane Austen, some
of the legendary Constantia wines originated in the vineyards of Klein
first harvest in newlands area in 150 years
The first harvest of the Vineyard Hotel’s private vineyard took place today marking the first time that wine grapes have been harvested in the Newlands area in more than 150 years. See video below.
wine partners all members of the wwf bwi
The Vineyard Hotel's five wine partners are now all members of the WWF Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) - a pioneering partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector.
In February 2009, marking the 350th year of wine making, the new vineyards were launched .These vineyards were planted in November 2008 besides the banks of the Liesbeek River.
to view this historic planting: click
our vineyard - april 2012
In Nov 2008 we planted our vineyard with the help of our five wine partners. We were really hoping to be able to harvest our grapes this year but for various viticultural reasons we were not able to. Next year we plan to adapt our pruning and we hope for better results. The vineyard is flourishing and a delight to visit.
to view our gallery: click here
vineyard wine tour
Enjoy a wine tasting tour. Highlighting our five wine partners, these vineyards are all within driving distance of the Hotel.