Our History

Lanzerac’s history dates back to 1692 when Governer Simon van der Stel granted a considerable tract of land in the Jonkershoek Valley to Isaac Schrijver and three freed slaves who set about planting vineyards. Throughout the years the farm had many owners. The most notable is Mrs. Elizabeth Katherina English who purchased the farm in 1914, then called Schoongezicht, and changed the name of the farm to Lanzerac.

Mrs. English bottled the first Lanzerac wine from grapes grown on her land where there were believed to have been 21 imported varietals growing. The present Lanzerac winemaking team honours the memory of this formidable lady through the Mrs. English Chardonnay.

1925 saw the birth of South Africa’s first, unique and indigenous wine grape variety Pinotage, which was a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage. This was the brainchild of Professor Abraham Izak Perold, who was appointed as the first Professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, and later became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. The first wines that were made with normal wine-making processes from Pinotage vines had an attractive and more intense colour than those of both parent varietals, frequently displaying a distinctive character, which was found to be very pleasing and intriguing.

The former Stellenbosch Farmer’s Winery (SFW) purchased the Lanzerac trademark in 1958, taking over the management of Lanzerac’s vineyards the same year. SFW was the first to use the name ‘Pinotage’ on a wine label when they marketed the 1959 vintage under the name ‘Lanzerac’ in 1961.This visionary release marked the birth of Pinotage as a unique variety from South Africa. The designation of Pinotage as the champion wine at the Cape Young Wine Show of 1959 caused a sensation as few people could believe that the classic red cultivars could be beaten in a competition such as this.

In 1959 the iconic Lanzerac Rosé, in the famous teardrop bottle, was released. This Rosé has become the longest-standing wine in the Lanzerac range and is still being produced today.

Dr. Christo Wiese acquired Lanzerac in 1991 from Distell, formerly known as SWF. He set about replanting the vineyards, established a modern cellar and changed the operation to a top quality producer cellar, using only grapes from its own vineyards to produce the fine wines of Lanzerac, as is still the case today.

Dr. Wiese sold Lanzerac to a British consortium in 2012, which immediately started a replanting process of some of the vineyards, building a beautiful tasting room and deli, as well as renovating each room of the iconic Lanzerac Hotel.

Cellar Master Wynand Lategan has been in charge of making the Lanzerac range of award-winning wines since 2005. Together with his team the range has been honed to maintain the excellent quality that Lanzerac has become known for.

The range currently includes 12 different wines which include a Méthode Cap Classique, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, two Chardonnay wines, Merlot, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, a world-class blend named Le Général and the flagship Pionier Pinotage

Lanzerac Wine Estate