The oldest farm on the Cape of Good Hope, Steenberg Vineyards is situated at the southern end of Cape Town, right at the entrance to the peninsula whose tip forms the Cape.
A Lübeck woman and the Steenberg Vineyards
Founded in 1682, the Steenberg Vineyards is the vineyard with the longest heritage on the Cape of Good Hope. The history of the estate is truly extraordinary. It was founded when Catharina Ras leased 25 acres of land. The Lübeck immigrant was an extremely unusual woman who, at a time when women's rights were not yet an issue, made independent decisions and ran her estate.
She managed 5 marriages, which often ended in the death of the husbands in the then still wild Africa by wild animals or natives. Legend has it that on the day of her second husband's death she herself hunted down the lion that killed him.
Visits by guests to the Steenberg Vineyards often ended with wild descriptions of the circumstances there, probably partly due to the contemporary lack of understanding of a self-confident, independent woman.
The "Swans" of Steenberg Vineyards
Originally the estate was called Swaaneweide - Schwanenwiese. A name which is due to the confusion of the South African Spur-winged Geese with swans. These animals still roam freely across the estate today. Steenberg Vineyards finally started winegrowing in 1695 with Frederik Russouw.
Although a man succeeded Catherine, his wife took over the farm after Nicolas' death. After an eventful history of various owners, including an investment company in the 1990s, Graham Beck, a South African wine magnate, finally took over the estate in 2005 and developed it into a luxury resort with restaurants, hotel and golf course.
At Steenberg the focus is on white
White grape varieties dominate with 70% of Steenberg Vineyards' area:
- Sauvignon Blanc with 64% of the total area.
Next to it the red varieties can be found:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
With the proximity of the sea, cool air comes into the vineyards of Steenberg Vineyards, the mild winters provide plenty of rain, which is well stored in the granite soils of the terroir. Cultivation at Steenberg Vineyards is carried out with respect for nature, natural pest control is used and predators in hunting are not affected, contributing to a healthy flora and fauna.
The land makes the wine
In keeping with historical tradition, Elunda Basson is now also a Steenberg Vineyards cellarmaster. The farm is run by Johann de Swardt, who has been looking after the vines since 1999 and for whom closeness to nature has always been very important. The motto of his team is that they "only bottle the grapes", which makes it clear that Steenberg Vineyards wines are mainly the product of their terroir.
More information about Steenberg Vineyards
|City:||7945 Cape Town|
|Contact & Web|
|Year of Incorporation:||1682|
|Company Group:||Graham Beck|
|Vineyard Area:||59,5 ha|