Background

Van Loveren is situated 160 kilometers from Cape Town, in the Breede River Valley between Robertson and Bonnievale. Banks of scarlet cannas along the roadside distinctly mark the property, which has been in the Retief family for over three generations.

Van Loveren has become SA’s foremost family-owned & operated wine business with their wines earning an enviable reputation for quality, consistency, availability & accessibilityan. Find them on the beautiful country road to Bonnievale in the Robertson Valley.

Having been voted the best child-friendly venue on a wine farm, Van Loveren puts family at the forefront, offering an array of delights for the whole family such as creative wine pairings (including a kiddies pairing), cellar tours, lunch at Christina’s bistro, garden tours, birding, hiking, MTB and so much more.  For more information about Van Loveren, visit www.vanloveren.co.za, follow @VanLoverenWines on Twitter or find them on Facebook

For more information, call (023) 615 1505, email info@vanloveren.co.za or visit www.vanloveren.co.za.

The People:

The Retief family has been making wine since they bought the farm in 1937, warmly welcoming visitors to the farm house and tasting rondavel. In those years, they made sweet wines and wine for brandy. Jean Retief, a traditionalist, convinced her husband, Hennie Sr., to name their farm after Christina van Loveren, because of her ancestral connection and the bridal chest which remains on the farm to this day.

In 1699 Christina Van Loveren left Holland by ship with her husband, Willem Van Zyl, with the hope of a new beginning in South Africa. With her she brought her bridal ‘trousseau’ chest, which was passed down the generations and eventually inherited by Jean Retief.

In the 60s, Wynand and Nico Retief, the sons of Hennie Sr. and Jean Retief, started making wine for wholesale. It was around this time that other farmers in the Robertson valley started bottling their own wine. This led the Retief family to start bottling their own wine. A major milestone was reached in 1980, with the birth of the Van Loveren label. Under this label the first 500 cases of Premier Grand Cru were bottled. It took a whole year to sell all 500 cases!

From the start of the Van Loveren label, visitors were introduced to the genuine hospitality that can still be felt today. The first tasting room was a rondavel, which was converted from a milk shed. When visitors came to call, a member of the family would come out for a wine tasting and a chat.

In 1986, the Retief brothers entered the trade, selling Van Loveren wine in retail. They were warned that if they continued selling their own wine, wholesalers would stop buying from them. In the tasting room rondavel, Wynand and Nico had to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives: whether they would succumb to the pressure and stop the Van Loveren label, or take the risk with their own brand. Over a bottle or two of Blanc De Blanc, the Retief brothers decided to take the plunge.

The story of the third generation of the Retief winemakers began in the 1990s. Wynand’s sons, Phillip and Neil, and Nico’s sons, Bussell and Hennie, joined the family farm after completing their studies. In 2000, the four cousins introduced the Four Cousins range of wines, which today is South Africa’s biggest selling bottled wine brand. Today they are the driving force behind the company.

Built on three generations of proudly South African entrepreneurial spirit and genuine hospitality, Van Loveren has become South Africa’s foremost family-owned and operated wine business with an incredible variety of quality offerings. The family farm has become a world-class wine tourism destination.

Van Loveren's farmworkers live in houses on the farm and these are all equipped with electricity, running water and flush toilets. Water is also supplied for gardening. The farm has a nursery for workers' children between the ages of three and six and the older children are transported to school, in Robertson, by bus. Nico, Wynand, Hennie and Bussell's wives run a very popular women's club for the farm workers' wives where, once a month, they have demonstrations and talks on interesting topics. The men are keen on rugby and the younger ones regularly play.

At Van Loveren we believe that our success can be attributed to a happy work force allowing everybody to work in harmony.


Van Loveren
+27.236151505