Vergenoegd Löw is one of the most intact of the early Cape farms and a very important heritage site, national monument, part of the European Heritage Project and a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) partner. This estate - now 325 years old - tells the stories of the owners, their families, slaves, Khoi labourers and farm life over three centuries. It is a fascinating tale of a host of individual vrijburger and other farmers who farmed with grapes, wines, different kinds of livestock, crops and feed grains.
In 1820 Johannes Gysbert Faure started the “dynasty” of generations of Faures until John Faure sold it to German businessman, industrialist and heritage devotee, Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Löw in 2015. He bought it because the rich heritage of the farm and the award-winning red wines fascinated him.
Original historic rolls in the Ryks Archive in The Hague describe the term of each owner, their spouse, number of children, slaves, numbers of livestock, weight of crops grown, volumes of wine produced and their personal arms down to recording a gun, revolver and sabre. Unlike wine farms built by the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) where official documentation recorded the history, Vergenoegd’s history was more informally recorded by some owners and researchers with fascinating aspects still emerging.
The farmhouse & surrounding buildings were declared a national monument in 1974.
A famous Dutch painter and Lutheran church minister, Jan Brandes (1743 – 1808), stayed on Vergenoegd for a year as guest of owner Johan Lochner. He painted three watercolour panoramas from the farm, one of which includes the farm itself. The accuracy of these renditions, down to verifiable details of the cellars, homestead, walled kraals and even the formal garden in front of the homestead was confirmed by heritage architects. Brandes painted and sketched a variety of land and sea birds, plants and fish during his stay. Most of his valued works are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The life’s work of Jan Brandes comprises about six hundred exquisite water-colour drawings and sketches. They had remained hidden in private collections for almost two centuries, until the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam acquired most of them in 1985. Soon the oeuvre was recognized as one of the most original and revealing depictions of life in and around Dutch VOC establishments in Asia and Africa. He was especially adept at painting birds and even took back to Batavia live birds given to him as a farewell gift by his parishioners. He made three watercolour panoramas from the farm, one of which includes the farm itself. The watercolour panoramas are digitally available in high resolution from the Rijksmuseum. They have proved to be a very important resource which depicts the property in good detail as it was circa 1786.