Whispers from the Vine: The Legacy of Lanzerac

Whispers from the Vine: The Legacy of Lanzerac

In the heart of the Cape Winelands, where the earth whispers secrets of a bygone era to those who tread upon it, the Lanzerac Wine Estate stands as a majestic testament to time’s passage. For 332 years, its vines have stretched towards the sun, entwining the estate’s legacy with the history of South African viticulture. This is not just a story of wine; it’s a saga of transformation, ambition, and enduring legacy, set against the picturesque backdrop of Stellenbosch.

Our tale begins in the year 1692, in an era when the land was wild, and the future of South African wine was nothing but a dream whispered by the wind. The estate, originally known as Schoongezicht for the breathtaking vistas it offered, was bestowed upon Isaac Schrijver. With a vision bold and pioneering, Schrijver planted the first vines, sowing the seeds of destiny that would flourish through centuries.

As the hands of time turned, Schoongezicht changed guardians, each steward weaving their thread into the estate’s rich tapestry. The dawn of the 19th century saw the rise of its iconic Manor House, a marvel of architecture, hinting at the grandeur that was to unfold.

Enter Elizabeth Catherina ‘Kitty’ English, a visionary whose name would be forever etched into the annals of Lanzerac. In 1920, with the spirit of a new age upon her, Kitty transformed the estate, bestowing upon it a name that would come to symbolise luxury and innovation: Lanzerac. Under her guidance, the estate blossomed into a beacon of modern viticulture, setting the stage for a future as rich as its terroir.

The narrative took another turn with the arrival of Angus Batts Buchanan and later his nephew, ‘Lord’ David Rawdon. It was under their stewardship that Lanzerac was not just a winery but reborn as an emblem of hospitality and elegance. Rawdon, with a flourish of creativity, converted the estate into a hotel, marrying the art of winemaking with the grace of hospitality, a concept that was nothing short of revolutionary.

Amidst the chapters of its storied past, Lanzerac claimed a milestone in the annals of viticulture — the birthplace of the first commercially available Pinotage. This varietal, unique, and bold, became a symbol of South African wine, a testament to Lanzerac’s pioneering spirit.

In the present day, Lanzerac Wine Estate is more than just a winery. It is a sanctuary of luxury, offering a five-star hotel, gastronomic delights, and an oasis of relaxation in its spa, all while continuing to produce wines of unparalleled excellence. Guests from across the globe are drawn to its beauty, eager to partake in the legacy of Lanzerac, to walk through its vineyards and taste the essence of history in every glass.

As we toast to Lanzerac’s 332nd year, we celebrate not just the wine but the journey. A journey of dreams, of innovation, and of resilience; a narrative woven into the very soul of Stellenbosch. Lanzerac, with its sprawling vines and ancient walls, stands as a guardian of history, inviting all who wander its paths to lose themselves in a story that continues to unfold, sip by captivating sip.