You must visit this magical wine estate if you are in the Cape, or staying in Stellenbosch!
Vergelegen was started in 1700 by Willem Adriaan van der Stel on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, a three-day ride from Cape Town, hence ‘Vergelegen’. And he established a major estate – half a million vines in six years, as well as cattle, sheep, fruit and vegetables on an industrial scale. The estate was established with slave labour and I believe one of the buildings on the right of the drawing below was the Slave House. The estate passed through several families and is now owned by Anglo American who re-introduced vines in 1987 and as early as 1992 produced the first award-winning wines in over a century. Van der Stel was correct in his choice of location!
Look at the lions on the mountainside! I think this is the east façade of the house…
Our visit started in pouring rain but we set off with umbrellas provided by the estate and sheltered under some of the many trees when necessary.
Interior photography is not permitted so this view was taken from the internet. The east façade of the homestead looks over lawns, past majestic camphor trees which were planted c.1705 by Willem van der Stel and are now protected.
The rose garden on the side of the house was in full bloom.
The Reflecting Pool is an oasis alongside the house and Camphors Restaurant.
The Stables Restaurant and the field of agapanthus.
The Herb Garden was immaculate, as was the vegetable garden, and just look at those box hedges!
And finally we had to leave this most magical of places.