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, In 1679 Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) succeeded Riebeeck as governor. During his reign, from the year 1688 experienced in French viticulture experienced French Huguenots in the country and brought their viticulture knowledge from Bordeaux. Burgundy and from the Provence With. They populated the present wine-growing districts Paarl and Stellenbosch, With the name Stellenbosch (in about "Stel's bush") Stel called a small island in the Eeste River. Here he founded the named after him city on the riverbank.
Simon van der Stel promoted viticulture and left more than 100,000 Europeans vines plants. He bought a large estate behind Cape Town's Cape Hill, not calling it as often told after his wife, but after the virtue he cherished Constantia (Perseverance) and built it into a model winery with the legendary in the meantime sweet wine out. Through land allocations to settlers Stel established many still existing wineries. His son Willem Adrian van der Stel succeeded him as governor. Although he was a tyrant and corrupt, but 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.