Rust en Vrede Wine Estate
Wine estates are the heartbeat of the magnificent region of Stellenbosch. One of the award-winning wine estates in the wine capital of South Africa is Rust en Vrede. For more than 300 years, Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch and has become one of the country’s premium red wine producers. The vineyard is located just outside Stellenbosch towards the False Bay side of the Atlantic Ocean, nestled on the lower slopes of the impressive Helderberg Mountain, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
The name Rust en Vrede is the Dutch equivalent of “Rest and Peace”. The long history of Rust en Vrede started in 1694, when it was established by the then Governor of the Cape, Willem Adrian van der Stel. The first house on the estate was built in 1780, followed by the cellar in 1785. The larger manor house was built in 1790.
The Engelbrecht family, whose ancestors have been grape growers since the early 1700s, took residence at Rust en Vrede in 1977. This marked the start of Rust en Vrede’s flourishing wine-making history. In 1978, Jannie Engelbrecht made the very first R&V wines of the modern era.
Winemaker Coenie Snyman
Other than Jannie Engelbrecht, there were only two appointed winemakers during the first 30 years of operation - Kevin Arnold and Louis Strydom. The current head winemaker, Coenie Snyman was appointed in 2007.
Rust en Vrede has received many accolades over the years, including being selected by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize dinner in Oslo. In addition, Rust en Vrede was the first South African red wine to be nominated in the Top 100 Wines of the World in 2000 and repeated this achievement for four consecutive years.
Rust en Vrede covers a remarkable 55 hectares of exquisite landscaping. Situated in the lower slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, between 85m and 130m above sea level, the wine estate has a magnificent view of Table Mountain to the West. The vineyards are mostly situated on North-facing slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. They are managed in an environmentally conscious way. The vineyards are vertically trellised and the canopy managed in such a way as to ensure optimum ripeness of the grapes.
Rust en Vrede specialize in reds, particularly Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot due to the fact that the estate is located in the warmer part of the Helderberg area. The Rust en Vrede’s full-bodied, new-oak matured wines are a manifestation of the supremacy of the Stellenbosch region when it comes to the making of truly great red wines.
The underground cellar of the estate was designed by renowned architect Mr. Gawie Fagan and it is the first of its kind for a privately owned South African winery. The cellar’s perfectly temperature-controlled environment is an important element in the production and bottle maturation of their unique wines. This wine estate produces 20,000 cases of wine annually, 50% of which is exported to more than 30 countries around the world.