Badsberg History

Against the hill, a stone throw away from the well-known Goudini-spa holiday resort also previously known as Goudini-bad and because of that the mountain received the name Badsberg. This is where the cellar was built in 1951 and was also named Badsberg wine cellar.

Golden years

Against the hill, a stone throw away from the well-known Goudini-spa holiday resort also previously known as Goudini-bad and because of that the mountain received the name Badsberg. This is where the cellar was built in 1951 and was also named Badsberg wine cellar. Badsberg and Hanepoot wines are synonyms to each other, they were born for each other and intertwined with these is the the Bothas, Le Roux’s, Stofbergs, Viljoens, Brinks and the Van der Merwes.

It's their world, the area of Rawsonville and Goudini, the land of the pink summer sun and wet, icy winters, effervescent streams, rugged cliffs and vines like a vast carpet on the valley floor and wrinkles of the mountains that lies as far as the eye can see.

The strip, that divides the coast from the dry country, was previously known for their hanepoot grapes. The heat of summer and the deep, dark hanepoot soil of the valley provided great sugar levels for the grapes.

On a few farms, in their farm cellars small amounts of wine was made for the use of distillation and table wines, when things started to go wrong on the overseas raisin market, they only had one way to go: to make wine!

South Africa became popular for the distribution of wine to Brittan. The war in Europe caused the negligence of the vineyards and the cellars started to run out of wine. On the other side the South African consumers discovered white wine – especially the sweet, but dry – with that in mind a rage of co-operative cellars formed in the mid 1940’s. This was more cost-effectiveness and also provided wine for KVW and other co-operate producers.

The Golden Chain

On the 13th of November 1950 a recruitment meeting was held on the farm Wagenheim , the owner Hendrik Francois Botha. The first office was at the home of the secretary, Mr JAS Viljoen, on the farm Lanquedoc near Rawsonville.

On the 6th of April 1951 eighteen farmers turned up for the founders meeting on the farm, Groot Vlakte. They were concerned about signs of increased competition on the raisin market, even in South Africa the Orange region was booming. There were also reports that Brittan is going to implemented new regulations that does not consider the welfare of the Worcester raisin farmers.

Nearby areas such as Slanghoek already had their own co-operative wine cellar from ground and with the power of observation the areas’ farmers could thoroughly assess the project’s viability. It is at that stage that Mrs Francis Botha, from Amandelrivier,proposed that they establish a co-operative cellar, it is second by Mr Phillipus van der Merwe, from Ruigtevlei and thus it is uniformly decided to call it Badsberg Co-operative Wine Cellar.

Badsberg would be different from the rest of the co-operations, that forces members to deliver all of their harvest, Badsberg’s members can only deliver some of their harvest to the cellar and the rest of the harvest can be sold as fresh grapes or marketed as raisins.

During October 1951 Mr PJM (Malherbe) Rossouw is formally appointed as the first winemaker and he started in January 1952 with his new task.

A week before the first harvest was delivered at the cellar, the board came together and set up a few rules and regulations regarding the harvest season. According to the hand written rules, still in possession of the cellar, Mr H Stofberg, Mr Joubert Stofberg and Mr AJ Botha, who also were part of the meeting, states that:

1. The cellar will be opened Monday to Friday from 7 to 12 then again from 1 in the afternoon. At about 5 in the afternoon it should close for all the delivery trucks and all other vehicles passing by. The drivers should always have their harvesting permits with them.

2. In the case that inferiority grapes are found with noble diversities, the whole delivery would be marked as inferior. White and red muscadel must be kept separate. The weighing, sugar count and inspection of the grapes had been done by the officials appointed and members may not interact with them. In case of uncertainty members can ask for the average of two sugar level monsters and then the choice would be final. Members are left alone not to argue with the staff and further complaint can be handed to the secretary in 5 working days’ time.

3. For quality reasons, no grapes would be held over the weekends.

4. The board also had the right to reject any of the vehicles or containers that members use to deliver grapes. It was recommended that sail covering is used for the vehicles delivering the grapes.

5. The skins of the grapes can be bought back for 2 shillings and 6 penny’s per ton.

Founder members

 Andries du Toit Botha  Die Eike
 (Mev) Francis Agnes Botha  Amandelrivier
 Hendrik Francois Botha  Wagenheim
 Phillippus Jordaan Botha  Groenvlei A
 Theunis Christoffel Botha  Wysersdrift
 Daniël Wouter Malan le Roux  Die Straat
 Ernst Gabriël le Roux  Groot Eiland
 Herculus Stofberg  Kliphoutkloof
 Jacobus Arnoldus Stofberg  Rawsonville 
 Pieter Barend Stofberg  Vredelus
 Ernst Gabriël van der Merwe  Groot Vlakte
 Phillipus Petrus van der Merwe  Ruigtevlei
 Ernst Gabriël Viljoen  Groot Vlakte
 Jacobus Arnoldus Stofberg Viljoen  Lanquedoc
 Pieter Karel Brink  Strand
 Nicolaas Johannes van der Merwe  Lentelus

Founder board members

 HF Botha (Hendrik Rooibul)  Voorsitter
 A du Toit Botha (Andries Bad)  Ondervoorsitter
 JAS Viljoen  Sekretaris
 EG van der Merwe (Ernst)  
 TC Botha  
 PJ le Roux (Pietie)  

Registration of Corporation
14 September 1951

First Manager / Winemaker
PJM (Malherbe) Rossouw

JB Collins

Building Contractor
JH de Koker

Badsberg Wine Cellar