History of Boschendal

Viticulture was introduced to the Cape in 1652 with the arrival of the Dutch East India Company. Soon after, the Huguenot émigrés, fleeing religious persecution in France, arrived in the Cape and added their French flare to the local wine industry, as yet still in its infancy. In 1685 sixty morgen of land was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel to the French Huguenot Jean le Long, who named his farm Bossendaal (Forest and Vale).

Viticulture was introduced to the Cape in 1652 with the arrival of the Dutch East India Company. Soon after, the Huguenot émigrés, fleeing religious persecution in France, arrived in the Cape and added their French flare to the local wine industry, as yet still in its infancy. In 1685 sixty morgen of land was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel to the French Huguenot Jean le Long, who named his farm Bossendaal ( Forest and Vale).

From the start the property was earmarked as a prime grape growing area and the first vines were introduced. In 1715 the Le Long grant passed on to the Huguenot brothers Pierre, Abraham and Jacques de Villiers. The impressive Manor House, one of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture in the country, was built by Paul de Villiers, grandson of Jacques.

After remaining in the De Villiers family for 164 years the farm passed through various hands until, in 1896, the devastating phylloxera plague threatened to wipe out the vineyards in the Drakenstein Valley . It was then that one of South Africa 's most legendary visionaries and Prime Minister of the Cape Colony at the time, Cecil John Rhodes, stepped in to save this grand estate from ruin. He uprooted the diseased vines and established a deciduous fruit growing industry.

Rhodes and then Minister of Agriculture, John X Merriman, dedicated themselves to the rejuvenation of the wine industry. In fact Rhodes stipulated that special care be taken to establish quality vineyards on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain above his cottage. Today, 104 years later, the best wine growing land on Boschendal remains the 420 hectare Founders' Estate, above Rhodes ' cottage! In 1902 Boschendal became the property of the De Beers mining company, who continued to develop its winemaking potential.

Until recently the farm was part of the Anglo American Farms Limited portfolio. Current owners, DGB (Pty) Ltd, took over the reins in 2005. As proud custodians of such a rich and distinguished heritage, DGB is committed to ensuring Boschendal's place as one of the great wine estates of the world.

Boschendal Estate
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