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ESTABLISHED

1700

  • VAN DER
    STEL ERA
    1685 – 1706

  • 1700 – WILLEM ADRIAAN

    FOUNDED ON 1 FEBRUARY 1700

    When Willem Adriaan succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as governor of the Cape in 1700, it didn’t take long before he claimed a modest 30,000 hectare piece of land for himself just as his father had done in his time at Constantia.

  • VERGELEGEN

    It took three days by ox-wagon to reach Willem Adriaan’s farm on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountain range overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; hence its name ‘Vergelegen’, meaning ‘situated far away’

  • 1705 – WILLEM ADRIAAN

    When, in November 1705, Reverend Francois Valentijn visited Vergelegen he uttered the now well-known words: “I SAW THIS ESTATE WITH EXCEPTIONAL PLEASURE, SINCE EVERYTHING WAS LAID OUT WONDERFULLY FINELY.”

  • 1706 – WILLEM ADRIAAN

    Six years after he started planting vines, Willem Adriaan had half a million vine stocks. He laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, planted camphor and oak trees, and established eighteen cattle stations with 1000 cattle and 1800 sheep. Willem Adriaan also built reservoirs and dug irrigation canals. He built himself a beautiful Cape Dutch homestead, added a corn mill and many other subsidiary buildings.

  • 1706 – WILLEM ADRIAAN

    The younger van der Stel was a man of divergent interests, but his enthusiasm to turn this barren land into an agricultural paradise got the better of him and after only six years in office, Willem Adriaan was found guilty of corrupt practices and was ordered to return to the Netherlands in October 1706. Nevertheless, Willem Adriaan was considered a genius for his knowledge of farming and his visionary mind contributed greatly to the agricultural development of the Cape.

  • 1709

    Three years later the Estate was sold and divided into 4 separate farms: Vergelegen, Lourensford, Morgenster and Cloetenburg.

  • 1798 – THEUNISSEN FAMILY

    From that time, Vergelegen passed through a succession of owners until 1798, when the Theunissen family took ownership of the Estate. Under their care, which lasted for about a century, the vineyards flourished.

  • THEUNISSEN ERA
    1798 – 1899

  • PHILLIPS ERA
    1917 – 1941

  • 1917 – PHILLIPS FAMILY

    Sir Lionel Phillips purchased the property for his wife, Lady Florence Phillips, who transformed the dilapidated Estate into a floral and cultural treasure trove

  • 1917 – PHILLIPS FAMILY

    The Phillips’ spent vast sums of money on the restoration and upgrade of the Estate. Sir Lionel Phillips was known as a ‘Randlord,’ making his millions on the diamond fields of Kimberley and the gold mines of the Witwatersrand. He also served as chairman of the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines for several years.

    Dams were built, roads constructed and the old footbridge was replaced by a structure wide enough to accommodate motor traffic.

  • 1917 – PHILLIPS FAMILY

    Lady Phillips removed all the vineyards and practised mixed agriculture. She brought her gardener, Hanson,over from England to plant shrubs, trees and herbaceous borders. With the help of architect, C. Percy Walgate, she restored the historic homestead and converted the old winery into a magnificent library to house Sir Lionel Phillips’ collection of books.

  • 1917 – PHILLIPS FAMILY

    Lady Phillips did not restrict her activities to creating a beautiful home for her family; she also became intimately involved in promoting local culture and handicrafts. She was a great benefactor to young artists and opened her newly restored home to people from all walks of life.

  • 1940 – PHILLIPS FAMILY

    Many famous and influential guests, as well as struggling artists, enjoyed her hospitality. Gwelo Goodman, Francis Brett-Young and Irma Stern were among her proteges. When she died at Vergelegen in 1940, at the age of 77, Lady Phillips left behind a legacy of great beauty to be enjoyed by all.

  • BARLOW ERA
    1941 – 1987

  • 1941 – BARLOW FAMILY

    After the deaths of Sir Lionel and Lady Phillips, Vergelegen and its contents were sold by auction to the Barlow Family in June 1941.

  • 1941 – BARLOW FAMILY

    Cynthia Barlow was as devoted to Vergelegen as Lady Phillips had been. She was able to purchase many of the beautiful pieces of furniture and works of art collected by Lady Phillips.

    To this collection she added her own considerable treasures and in so doing the tradition of Vergelegen was maintained.

  • 1966 – BARLOW FAMILY

    The Barlows resumed farming operations on Vergelegen and started a Jersey cattle herd, which became one of the largest and best in South Africa. They also planted extensive peach orchards and replanted vines on a small scale.

  • 1966 – TOM BARLOW

    Their son, Tom, took over the running of the farm in 1966 until 1987.

  • ANGLO AMERICAN ERA

    Anglo American purchased the Estate in October 1987.

  • 1987 TO
    PRESENT

  • 1987 – ANGLO ERA

    Among the many projects undertaken on the Estate by Anglo American was an extensive programme of clearing invasive alien vegetation, land rehabilitation and restoration of the Estate’s historic core. The vineyards were re-established following intensive climatic and soil tests.

  • 1990 – ANGLO ERA

    NELSON MANDELA AND THE ANC EXECUTIVE – MAY 1990:

    The first meeting of the caucus of the ANC took place in the seclusion of Vergelegen before it was opened to the public, with amongst others, Nelson Mandela and Thabo M’Beki attending.

  • 1992 – ANGLO ERA

    A detailed master plan was drawn up for the development of the farm and in 1992, an impressive, multi-leveled, sunken hilltop winery was built and opened by Baron Eric de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite (Bordeaux) in France. Today, Vergelegen competes with the top 100 wines of the world and positions itself among the leading conservers of Cape cultural heritage.

  • 1993 – ANGLO ERA

    Throughout its history and especially during the last two decades, heads of state and celebrities of international renown have been visiting Vergelegen.

  • 1993 – ANGLO ERA

    ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND MRS CAREY – FEBRUARY 1993:

    With the wives of the Archbishops’ of the Anglican Communion.

  • 1993 – ANGLO ERA

    SIR EDMUND HILLARY – 1993:

  • 1995 – ANGLO ERA

    HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
    AND HRH PRINCE PHILLIP – MARCH 1995:

    Anglo American Corporation hosted a private luncheon for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip during a State visit to South Africa.

  • 1995 – ANGLO ERA

    QUEEN OF MALAYSIA – SEPTEMBER 1995:

  • 1995 – ANGLO ERA

     ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS DESMOND TUTU – NOVEMBER 1995:

    A farewell dinner to mark Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s retirement.

  • 1997 – ANGLO ERA

    HRH DUKE OF KENT – APRIL 1997:

  • 1997 – ANGLO ERA

    NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND DINNER – DECEMBER 1997:

    ‘Thank you’ dinner, following exhibition tennis matches to mark the launch of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, attended by President Nelson Mandela and including Boris Bekker, Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields.

  • 1998 – ANGLO ERA

    US PRESIDENT & MRS CLINTON – MARCH 1998:

    State Banquet in honour of United States President Bill Clinton and Mrs Hilary Clinton, hosted by President Nelson Mandela and Ms Graça Machel.

  • 2000 – ANGLO ERA

    HRH PRINCE PHILLIP AND HRH PRINCE EDWARD – NOVEMBER 2000:

    Repeat visit to Vergelegen.

  • 2003 – ANGLO ERA

    MR AND MRS NELSON MANDELA – ‘46664 CONCERT’ GALA DINNER – NOVEMBER 2003:

    Hosted by Mr and Mrs Nelson Mandela for “46664” Concert VIP guests – including Bono, Annie Lennox, Beyoncé Knowles, The Corrs and Oprah Winfrey amongst others

  • 2003 – ANGLO ERA

    WORLD CUP 2010 – BID DINNER HOSTED BY ANGLO AMERICAN – NOVEMBER 2003

  • 2004 – ANGLO ERA

    VICE PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA – JUNE 2004:

  • 2005 – ANGLO ERA

    ELTON JOHN CAPE TOWN BALL – JANUARY 2005

    The Elton John Cape Town Ball to benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation. The event was attended by 500 guests, amongst them Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and South African and international celebrities.

  • 2007 – ANGLO ERA

    DUKE AND DUCHESS OF WESTMINSTER – APRIL 2007:

    Private picnic and wine tasting.

  • 2010 – ANGLO ERA

    MS MARTHA STEWART (US TALK SHOW HOST AND BUSINESS-WOMAN) – FEBRUARY 2010:

    Hosted to an informal tour and tasting.

  • 2010 – ANGLO ERA

    DR HENRY KISSINGER AND FAMILY – JULY 2010:

    Homestead dinner hosted by Ms Cynthia Carroll.

  • 2011 – ANGLO ERA

    THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL – 5 NOVEMBER 2011:

    VIP cocktail reception in the Octagonal Garden hosted by Godfrey Gomwe on behalf of Anglo American and Dame Nicola Brewer on behalf of the British High Commission.

  • 2019 – ANGLO ERA

    2019 – DECLARED PROVINCIAL HERITAGE SITE:

    Three decades of visionary collaboration between Anglo American, and many of the country’s leading heritage experts, culminated in Vergelegen being added to the Western Cape’s list of provincial heritage sites.

  • PRESENT – ANGLO ERA

    Today, this most prestigious and awarded wine estate offers its 100 000 annual visitors a unique combination of heritage, environment and hospitality, while standing at the forefront of South Africa’s recent wine renaissance.

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