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Celebrating 361 years of wine-making in South Africa

10 February 2020

As far as we know, South Africa is the only country in the world to have its first wine production documented. Jan van Riebeek is quoted as saying  ''Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grape'' - this on the 2nd of Feb 1659.

We now celebrate this unique occasion annually - hosted by Groot Constantia, home to the first wines produced in South Africa. Thanks to the partners Standard Bank, Vinpro and Tops at Spar Wine Show, Die Burger and Groot Constantia.

Not only does the occasion bring everyone out in their finery, but is there a blessing of the harvest and also recognition to those making a significant contribution to the South African Wine Industry. This year, one of the humblest men in the industry, Jan ''Boland'' Coetzee from Vriesenhof in Stellenbosch received the 1659 Medal of Honour.  We were treated to a video with plenty of accolades from his family, friends and colleagues about his passion and gentle and dedicated approach

Jan has a wonderfully naughty sense of humour and also has the most charming ''brei'' as he hails from the West Coast.

Well done to a man who quietly gets on with doing the right thing, uplifting those around him and producing great wines.  

Congratulations to the South African Wine industry - celebrating 361 years of making wine.