Not everyone is aware of the grape vines growing in Newlands. Roy Davies, General Manager of The Vineyard Hotel explains, “Wine-growing in this area of the southern suburbs actually pre-dates wine-making in Constantia – only a few hundred metres from where our vineyard is, Jan van Riebeeck planted South Africa’s first vines along the Liesbeek River in 1658. There were almost 22 000 vines on this property when Lady Anne Barnard moved into her newly built home and named it The Vineyard.”
In October 2008, approximately 350 years after the first vineyards were planted in this area, five renowned wine producers were invited by the Vineyard Hotel to become involved in reigniting the history of wine in the Newlands area by establishing a private vineyard in the gardens of the hotel. Klein Constantia, Meerlust, Simonsig, Warwick and Waterford became the Vineyard Hotel’s five official wine partners, and each takes a turn to craft the wines produced from the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes grown at the Vineyard Hotel.
Friends of the Vineyard Hotel are invited every year to prune the vines, attend the harvest dinner and watch the bottling of the wine. 2016 is the Vineyard’s fourth vintage, made and bottled at Waterford. 2017’s harvest will be the responsibility of Simonsig.