Our Story

Enter the heart of KWV: its Cathedral Cellar. In 2018, KWV celebrated 100 years of excellence since it started trading in 1918. Centennial celebrations included many additional highlights that will carry the company into the next century.

One of these was the opening of KWV’s spectacular Cathedral Cellar - originally built in 1930 - as a private events venue under the custodianship of KWV Ambassador Chef, Mynhardt Joubert. This beautiful space houses an impressive collection of thirty-two ‘stukvats’ measuring approximately 3 meters in circumference, serving as an imposing backdrop in a serene setting.

These massive vessels also reveal the history of the South African wine industry, with stories carved on their façade. The first barrels were carved by father and son team, Karl and Karl-Heinz Wilhelm, in 1968 and 1970, who collectively stamped their art on twelve of the barrels.

In 1987, in celebration of Paarl’s tercentenary, two new vats were added by South African artist Ruth Wolter. To prevent these vats from leaking she produced her works of art on separate wood panels, which were subsequently attached to the vats – a modern method which clearly distinguishes her work from those of the father-and-son duo.

In a centennial highlight, the venue and its wines served as the backdrop for KWV’s centenary crescendo: the unveiling of a brand-new carved barrel, by artist Ivan Hunter, as an apt illustration of KWV’s continuous contribution to the story of the South African wine industry.

This serene space is now open to visitors and the impressive carvings can be viewed by the public. Book a tour to explore Cathedral Cellar Wines.

Cathedral Cellar