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Riebeeck Jan

The Dutch ship doctor and merchant Jan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck (1619-1677) landed on April 6, 1652 on behalf of the Dutch East Indian trading company in the bay at the foot of Table Mountain and founded a colony, today's South Africa, His job was to build a supply station on the way to India. First the "Fort de Goede Hoop" was built, from which the name of the Cape of Good Hope was derived. Then you started growing fruits and vegetables. Riebeeck also dealt with the dreaded seafarer's disease scurvy and was looking for a cure. He wrote a letter to his home country and asked for it vines, The reason was that back then Wine was considered an effective preventive against scurvy. The cuttings from Germany (from Rhine ) arrived in South Africa in 1654 and were sewn into small packages made of damp canvas. However, the first attempt at South African viticulture failed because the vines took 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 range of cuttings from the countries of Bohemia, France, Spain and Germany. This enabled the first production of South African wine, a very modest amount of 15 liters. On February 2, 1659, Riebeeck noted in his diary "that, thank God, wine was made from cape grapes for the first time today" . The first vines from which wine was made were Muscat Blanc (from France). But also the varieties Muscat d'Alexandrie (here Hanepoot) and Chenin Blanc (here Steen) were already there for the first broadcast from Europe. Since neither Riebeeck nor other settlers knew much about viticulture, no good quality wines were made. The governor only succeeded Simon van der Stel (1639-1712), who named it after in Stellenbosch and in 1685 the famous winery Constantia founded.

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

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