Our Estate - About Us - Our People

Nestled at the foothills of the Simonsberg, in South Africa’s most celebrated Franschhoek wine valley, lies Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, known as one of the top Franschhoek wine estates in the valley. Vrede en Lust is a family owned and managed wine estate, famous for our award winning wines, breathtaking venue and our beautiful ladies in red who offer informative, unique wine tastings and cellar tours 7 days of the week.

In addition to the above, we are home to the highly rated LUST Bistro & Bakery. Come stay in our luxury, historic Manor House and Jonkmanshuis for the most authentic winelands accommodation possible. Celebrate your special occasion in our spectacular winelands wedding and function venue!
We invite you to spend a little time with us on our website, or even better, if you get the chance, please visit our estate in person to experience the real “peace of passion”!

About us

Nestled at the foothills of the Simonsberg, lies Vrede en Lust, home to the wines produced by the 2007 Woman Winemaker of the Year, Susan Erasmus
The history of Vrede en Lust is a story of passion, vision and resurrection, which goes as far back as 1688, when Flemish merchant Jacques de Savoye arrived at the Cape with the French Huguenots.

Since then, Vrede en Lust has changed hands a number of times and in 1996, when the Buys family became the 17th owners, they embarked on a program of renewal to realise the exceptional winemaking potential of the land.
Vrede en Lust is a family owned and managed wine business – a tribute to its noble roots and a magnificent addition to the South African wine industry.

Vrede en Lust, derived from the Dutch “Peace and Eagerness” is a modern wine farm, building on a 320 year old foundation. Its vision is to become one of South Africa’s best loved wineries by delivering a level of customer experience that exceeds all expectations.

The farm is located in the center of the Cape Winelands, on the eastern slopes of the Simonsberg, and nestled in between the top notch Rupert de Rothschild (Fredericksburg) and Plaisir de Merle estates. The vineyards are classified under the Wine of Origin ward Simonsberg-Paarl, as part of the Paarl Wine Region. Vrede en Lust produces more the bulk of its grapes on its three vineyards and sources the balance from top quality grape growers in the region.

Vrede en Lust was established by the French Huguenot, Jacques de Savoye in 1688. De Savoye immediately started improving the 60 morgen (55 Ha) of land that starts on the Berg River Valley floor and runs up the eastern foothills of the majestic Simonsberg mountain. More than 10,000 vines were planted by 1691, which grew to 80,000 by 1780.

The Buys family purchased both farms in 1996, uniting the original farm once more, and set up restoring a number of the historic buildings and replanting the farm to the noble wine grape cultivars. In 1998 Dana entered into a partnership with his brother Etienne, who has since overseen the vineyards and building of the winery. The new winery was completed in time for the 2002 harvest and today, Vrede en Lust is a working wine farm and accessible to the public. For more information about the complete history of our farm go to the VnL History Section.

Our Logo

The Huguenot origins of the farm are honored by the logo, which has been adapted from the original Huguenot Cross. Designer Anthony Lane took the Fleur-de-lis from the Buys family crest and softened the Huguenot cross by applying it to the points. The logo, a dove linked by a ribbon of gold to multiple blessings as depicted by the points of the cross represents peace and freedom of spirit. It is a fitting symbol for a farm with a legendary history and a soaring future.

History

Vrede en Lust has a rich history, spanning well over 300 years. As part of our commitment to preserve this heritage, a research project, conducted by Romi Boom was commissioned, resulting in a book entailing the history of the farm throughout the generations.

We welcome any additional information, including stories, photo’s and facts, that you may have to contribute.

Click here to download the history of Vrede en Lust (pdf format).

Our People

Meet the office and winery team at Vrede en Lust. Under the direction of Etienne Buys, our small, talented team is committed in leading the winery to success.

It is all about “the right people in the right jobs” in all successful businesses and we have assembled a very strong team here.

Dana Buys: Owner
Before purchasing the Vrede en Lust farm in 1996, Dana was involved in the informational technology industry. His company, Workgroup Systems, was the first South African company to have a distribution relationship with Microsoft post the sanctions era. Workgroup grew to become the largest distributor of software in the country by 1996, at which point he sold the distribution, training and consulting components of the business.

Buys was chairman of Frontrange when it listed on the JSE in 1997. Since selling Frontrange Solutions in December 2005, he is dedicated to making a success of the Vrede en Lust wine business.

In 1996 he began his new venture in the wine industry. He replanted entirely new vines in relation to the unique soil of each block of land. Dana also restored much of the historic building back to their original status. He completed his postgraduate studies in Wine Business through the University of Adelaide. He is heavily involved in promoting the South African wine industry as a whole.

Dana married Anneke Louw in June 2008. They now live back on Vrede en Lust in a new house a bit further up the farm. Dana has two daughters; Jessica, Sarah, from his previous marriage and little Anne and Ella have joined the family in the past 3 years!

Etienne Buys: Managing Partner & Viticulturist
In 1998, Etienne joined his brother Dana in the Vrede en Lust partnership and headed the development of the farm and cellar. He is currently the full time viticulturist on the farm. Etienne traveled extensively in France and Australia, building his knowledge of modern techniques in the wine industry.

Prior to joining Vrede en Lust, Etienne served in the government service and gained extensive managerial and corporate experience for over more than a decade. Not only is he theoretically knowledgeable, but follows a hands on philosophy in which you will most likely find him in the vineyards. For the past two years he has been the managing director of the estate, managing the business and the team on a daily basis. Etienne and his wife Tracey with their 2 children live on the farm.

Susan Erasmus: Cellar Manager, Winemaker & Wine Logistics
Susan is a Viticulture and Oenology graduate from the University of Stellenbosch and spent time abroad, in France perfecting her craft.

Born in Cape Town, she grew up in the Free State and returned back to the Winelands in 2000 and is now living the love of wine.

She heads up the team in the cellar and has an innate passion for winemaking and the vineyard. This passion shines in her crafting of wines in a classic New world style.

Susan is the proud winner of the Landbou Weekblad South African Woman Winemaker of the year competition for 2007! She married her viticulturist husband, Arne Erasmus, at Vrede en Lust (of course!) in October 2008.

Click here to listen to an interview with Susan.

Johan Hulme: Financial Manager

Tanja Fourie: Marketing Manager
Tanja have always had an interest in marketing and more specifically consumer behaviour and like most ladies, the finer things in life – it was therefore inevitable to pursue a career in marketing and branding, but it was only when she met her winemaker husband that she realised her passion for wine, the industry, the people and the challenges it brings!

After graduating from UNISA in Marketing Management she also obtained qualifications from the Cape Wine Academy and UCT School of Business and has more than eleven years of wine industry experience.

She only recently joined the Vrede en Lust team and had this to say about her new role “It’s such an honour to be able to represent this amazing brand – definitely the highlight of my career.”

Her philosophy is “Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value of satisfaction. We’re in the entertainment industry after all!”

Lourenza Terblanche – Wine Sales Coordinator

Lynne Blignaut: Hospitality Manager
Lynne grew up in Pretoria, excelling in sport during her school years. She moved to Johannesburg in 1987 when she married Aubrey and they now have three awesome sons in their 20’s.

Her past working experience includes Secretarial and Production Assistance, in the field of Music, and Television production, as well as Recording Studios, assisting in Radio Spot Advertising.

Lynne joined the Hospitality Industry when she relocated to the Cape Winelands 4 years ago, co-managing a 4 star guest house with her husband.

“I have a specific eye for detail, and I am passionate about creating a “home-away-from-home” environment for our guests and I am proud to be part of the awesome Vrede en Lust Team!”

May Wu (Wu, Meijun): International Representative
May Wu is our only international employee and represents the Vrede en Lust brand in china as our international sales representative.

May has a BA (Honours) in Hotel and Catering Management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management was established in 1979 and leads Asia in providing high quality education and research for hospitality and tourism. In 1999 the World Tourism Organisation UNWTO) designated the School as one of its Education and Training Centers, the only such center in Asia.

May has written about wine for a number of publications and has also hosted a TV program for Food & Wine pairing. Her previous position was as manager for one of the wine shops in Shenzhen, China. This has helped to give May a very strong, first hand understanding of the Chinese wine consumers and she will put this expertise to work as she helps to build the Vrede en Lust brand in China.

Her passion for wine, fluent Mandarin, Cantonese and English make her the ideal person on the ground in China! We first met May at one of the wine shows we participated in in Guangzhou in 2011. Once it became clear that we need to take a bold step and employ a person in China, it was an easy choice as we had already started to develop the relationship.

As for May’s hobbies and interests, best stated in her own words “Eating, drinking, singing (music), reading and enjoying this life. I think life is too short. As I grow older, I feel that I should be more thankful for what I have and enjoy this life. Giving my life passion always! I am thankful that I could choose something that I have passion for to work with. From tasting different food and drink, I feel and understand better the different culture in different place before I travel to more and more places. Reading is something like my life tutor, sometimes my life doctor. Music is something I could not live without. For me, I think every song has its own soul.”


Vrede en Lust Estate
+27.218741611