About Ridgeback Wines

From its first vintage of Red in 2001 where Ridgeback Shiraz won the coveted 5 star award in the John Platter SA Wine Guide...

Vansha Farming (Pty) Ltd the holding company of Ridgeback & Vansha Wines and Ridgeback Guest House is located in Northern Paarl some 10 km from the towns of Paarl and Wellington. Located on a 62 hectare boutique farm set amongst the working vineyards and overlooking the magnificent Paarl Limietberg Mountains.

The farm surrounded by Granite hills looks over the panoramic scenery of the Limietberg Mountains. The terrain, abundant with natural fynbos provides ideal soil and drainage for the growth of the vineyards especially that of the red grape varieties.

The area provides plenty of opportunities for quiet strolls around the farm and more ambitious hikes into the hills.
Ridgeback winery is situated on the northern slopes of the Paarl Mountains, this quiet corner of Paarl provides ideal growing conditions for the vineyards which give our premium brand Ridgeback and second label Vansha their distinctive characteristic flavours.

Our distinctive wines reflect the character and individuality of the Rhodesian Ridgeback dog - the hallmark of our brand. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is native to South Africa. Its history can be traced to the Cape Colony of Southern Africa where the early pioneers used them for lion hunting.

The vineyards include the following red varieties - Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot and Grenache; the white varieties include Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

A modern winery designed to handle 200 tons has been built, and with it, an exclusive wine tasting centre. A small restaurant and four star Guest House complete the overall structure of Vansha Farming.

The farm, initially purchased as a fruit farm converted to vineyards in 1997 and our first vintage of Vansha Sauvignon Blanc was produced in 2000 and in 2001 Ridgeback Shiraz, which was awarded five stars in the John Platter.

The wines are produced under two brands, the premium Ridgeback, was named from the Ridgebacks on the farm and from the background of the Owner and the then Farm Manager who spent time in the old Rhodesia. Vansha, our entry level wine, was taken from the name of the owner's daughter Vanessa and son Shaun.

The farm, proud of the abundant natural fynbos has joined up with the department of wild life and conservation to ensure the protection of its natural environment.

Toit Wessels
Born in Zimbabwe, Toit moved to South Africa in 1985, where he was educated at SACS. Toit has taken over from the retired Jerry Parker and is now General Manager for Vansha Farming (Pty) Ltd. He learned his skills under international renowned viticulturist, Phil Freese.

Toit having recently completed a Diploma in Enology at Elsenberg Agricultural College is now winemaking for Vansha Farming under the consultancy of Cathy Marshall.

Vanessa Cole
Vanessa, born in Malawi, completed her high school education in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, loved travelling and after two years of travelling around Australia, the Far East and Europe ended up in the USA where she qualified as an IATA consultant. After running her own travel company in Malawi for 5 years she succumbed to the travel bug once again and went back to Ireland where she completed a course at Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Now with her feet firmly on the ground she runs the Deck restaurant and the Ridgeback House, Guest House.

Please click HERE for detailed awards to date. 

Ridgeback Wines