On the retirement of Governor Simon van der Stel in 1700, his son Willem Adriaan became Governor and was granted ownership of Vergelegen – meaning “situated far away”. The younger van der Stel transformed the uncultivated land into a veritable paradise.
The property passed through a succession of owners until 1798, when the Theunissen family took ownership for over a century. Under their care, the vineyards flourished.
In 1917 the property was purchased by Sir Lionel for his wife Florence Phillips, who spent vast sums on the restoration of the old homestead, library and gardens. The vineyards were removed and replaced with mixed agriculture.
After the death of Sir Lionel and later Lady Florence Phillips, the estate was acquired by Charles ‘Punch’ Barlow and his wife Cynthia in June 1941. ‘Punch’ Barlow’s son Tom took over the running of the farm in 1966.
Anglo American Farms Limited purchased Vergelegen in October 1987. Vines are planted on the slopes and plateau around the winery, and soft citrus on the warmer northerly slopes. The valley is planted to plums and pears.
The Heritage Area, which is of particular historical interest, is now open to visitors. Following is an outline of the various components of the Heritage Area.
Entry fee includes access to the homestead, gardens and grounds. Facilities for the disabled are provided.
Guided tours of Wine Cellar Monday to Saturday at 10h30, 11h30 and 15h00. Sunday at 10h30 and 11h30 from November to April.