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Riebeeck Jan

The Dutch ship doctor and merchant Jan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck (1619-1677) landed on behalf of the Dutch East India Company on April 6, 1652 in the bay at the foot of Table Mountain and founded a colony, the present South Africa, His assignment was to build a supply station on the way to India. First, the "Fort de Goede Hoop" was built, from which then derives the name of the Cape of Good Hope. Then you started to grow fruits and vegetables. Riebeeck also dealt with the dreaded sailor's disease scurvy and was looking for a cure. He wrote a letter to his home and asked vines, The reason was that at that time Wine as an effective means of preventing scurvy. The cuttings from Germany (from Rhine ) arrived in South Africa in 1654 and were sewn into small packets of damp canvas. But the first attempt of a South African winegrowing failed, because the vines had taken root early in the damp cloth and were spoiled.

Jan Riebeeck - Portrait and Arrival at the Cape of Good Hope on April 6, 1652

A year later he received a cuttings assortment from the countries of Bohemia, France, Spain and Germany. With this succeeded the first production of South African wine, a very modest amount of 15 liters. On February 2, 1659 Riebeeck noted in his diary, "that today, thank God, for the first time wine was pressed from Cape grapes" . The first vines from which wine was produced were Muscat Blanc (from France). But also the varieties Muscat d'Alexandrie (here Hanepoot) and Chenin Blanc (here Steen) were already at the first broadcast from Europe. Since neither Riebeeck nor other settlers understood much about viticulture, no wines of good quality were produced. This succeeded only to the governor Simon van der Stel (1639-1712), who named this after Stellenbosch and in 1685 the famous winery Constantia founded.

Jan Riebeeck: By Anonymus, Home , Public Domain, Link
Arriving at the Cape: By Charles Davidson Bell , Public Domain, Link

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