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Steenberg

SteenbergWatch a video about Steenberg

Established in 1682, Steenberg is the Cape’s first and oldest farm with a long and fascinating history. Located a mere 20 minutes from central Cape Town, Steenberg Farm today includes the five-star Steenberg Hotel, Catharina’s Restaurant, Bistro Sixteen82, a championship golf course and a state-of-the-art winery which produces some of South Africa’s finest Sauvignon Blanc, as well as numerous other celebrated varietals.

Steenberg’s first owner was the feisty Catharina Ustings Ras, South Africa’s first female landowner, and a controversial and daring figure whose life was full of multiple marriages and untimely deaths. Arriving in the Cape in 1662 (a mere ten years after Jan van Riebeeck), she faced many challenges and life as a woman was not easy. The twenty-two-year-old widow quickly married Hans Ras, who owned a house on the Liesbeek River, which he had purchased from the founder of the renowned Cloete family of Constantia.

In 1682, Catharina requested a piece of land at the foot of the Ou Kaapse Weg and Simon van der Stel agreed to lease 25 Morgen to her. After becoming Groot Constantia’s owner in 1685, van der Stel upon her request decided to grant Catharina a legal title deed for the land.

Catharina named the farm 'Swaaneweide' (meaning the feeding place of swans) after the area’s spur-winged geese that she mistook for the swans of her beloved native Lübeck in Germany. In 1695 Frederik Russouw, a wealthy and influential member of the Burger Council purchased the farm and produced the first wines at Swaaneweide.

Fast forward a few years to 1741, and the Dutch East India Company ruled that Simons Bay would be the official winter port, and so because of its close vicinity, Swaaneweide became the overnight location for many weary travelers. Russouw’s widow, Christina Diemer, inherited the highly profitable business, and upon her death her youngest son Nicolaas Russouw together with his wife Anna Maria Rousselet inherited the farm and tended it from 1765 to 1801. On Nicolaas’s death in 1802, his son Daniel acquired the farm, but due to difficult circumstances sold it to his brother-in-law Johannes Adriaan Louw and Frederik Anthon Olthoff.

Johannes Adriaan Louw’s son Nicolaas displayed a great passion for Steenberg, deciding to go directly from school into farming. Upon his death in 1976, his three children jointly inherited the farm and in 1990 J.C.I (Johannesburg Consolidated Investments) bought the property and developed it into the celebrated hotel and vineyard that it is today.

Steenberg Winery and Hotel was bought in April 2005 by Graham Beck who re-developed it into a luxury destination complete with two fine dining restaurants, the sought-after private Steenberg Estate, an award-winning winery and world-class spa set amongst a championship 18-hole golf course and beautiful natural surroundings.

Today Steenberg produces unique terroir specific wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Méthode Cap Classique, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Magna Carta.

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