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Chatting with Vera & Nora Sperling (Delheim) about the founding of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes in 1971

11 April 2021

In 1971 Stellenbosch became the first wine region in South Africa to establish a wine route as an organised network of wineries at which the tourist could experience the product of the vine and tune into the soul of the region's winelands. The Stellenbosch Wine Routes currently consists of more than 150 wineries, each offering a unique cellar-door experience for the wine-lover and tourist.

3 insightful and tough pioneers in the wine industry worked really hard to convince wineries in the area to form the wine route.
Spatz Sperling of Delheim, Frans Malan, Simonsig's father of Cap Classique in South Africa, and Niel Joubert, then owner of Spier, were at the forefront of the game, pushing to get the Stellenbosch wine farms recognised as a tourism destination 50 years ago. One of the challenges for the new Wine Route was that there was no signage on the roads to the wineries. A fortunate twist of fate persuaded Henrik Schoeman, then Minister of Transport to approve signage, as he famously got lost on a visit to Delheim!

We chat with Vera Sperling (Spatz's wife) and daughter Nora Thiel(Sperling) about the history has curated a very special pack of wine from the 3 pioneer wine farms - find out more on