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Simon van der Stel

The arrival of the Dutch doctor Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) in the Cape in 1652 and the first planting of vines by him in 1655 was the beginning of viticulture in South Africa, The first governor of the Cape Colony was Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) from 1679, who is also considered a wine pioneer. He was the son of Adriaan van der Stel, an official of the Dutch East India Company. During Stel's reign, French Huguenots, experienced in viticulture, came to the country from 1688 and brought out their knowledge of viticulture Bordeaux. Burgundy and from the Provence With. They populated today's wine-growing districts Paarl and Stellenbosch, With the name Stellenbosch (roughly "Stel's Busch") Stel referred to a small island in the Eeste River. Here he founded in 1679 the city named after him on the river bank and in the same year the winery "Delaire" (today known as "Delaire Graff Estate").

Simon van der Stel - portrait

Simon van der Stel promoted viticulture and left over 100,000 European vines plants. He bought a large estate behind Table Mountain in Cape Town, not naming it after his wife as often mistakenly told, but after the virtue he valued Constantia (Perseverance) and built it into a model winery that still exists today with the legendary one in the meantime sweet wine out. By assigning land to settlers, van der Stel founded many wineries that still exist today. His son Willem Adrian van der Stel (1664-1723) became his successor as governor. Although he was a tyrant and corrupt, he continued his father's work on viticulture positively. The "Free Burgher Rebellion" in the Cape in 1707 ended his career. He was exiled to Holland in 1708, where he spent the rest of his life in exile.

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