The Story that Shaped Us

5 July 2023

‘Or over three centuries, the soil of Vergenoegd has, at times, produced wonderful wines.

In years of success when this estate was thriving with people, farming, and well-kept buildings, it was a place of pride, a positive influence extending to the surrounding communities. Sadly, this is not what we found in 2015 when we first set foot here.

It was run down and dilapidated in places. Our impression was that people had lost their pride in the farm. It was a sad environment. Investments had not been made for years. Yet, somehow, Vergenoed still retained the promise of its heyday.

We saw from our experience in Europe, at the royal castles, medieval monasteries, renaissance palaces and other heritage buildings that we foster in our portfolio, that this wine estate was something unique and worthwhile. When we found out that it was one of the oldest wine farms of its kind in South Africa, we thought it could be a typical initiative for our European Heritage Project, even if it was outside Europe.

The decision was made to give Vergenoegd the care, investment and hard work needed to restore its true character and potential. It was a calculated deed of faith. Champion red wines in its past and a rich, chequered history of vriburgher (free citizen) owners followed by six generations of the Faure family made it a fascinating, if challenging project.

Quality, excellence and perfection became the mantra for restoring the vineyards, the farmstead and, ultimately, the spirit of the people.

Blessing of the Harvest 2022

From left to right. Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter and Clara Löw, Corius Visser and Beyers Truter at the Vergenoegd Löw Blessing of the Harvest 2022.

Gathering the harvest in February 2022 clearly showed the progress on many fronts. As each team member stepped forward to empty their basket of grapes into the cellar crusher, the people of Vergenoed Löw rediscovered their own connection and that of their forefathers with this living, breathing wine estate.

Prof Löw and Bertus Basson at the Inauguration of Clara's Barn

Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Löw handing over the key to Clara’s Barn to Bertus Basson during the Inauguration of Clara’s Barn function in 2022.

Our first goal of tasteful and respectful restoration has been largely achieved. The next goal of re-establishing one of the best wine farms in South Africa, even in the world, is a work in progress, but our wines have already started winning awards. We have also opened two wonderful restaurants, Clara’s Barn and Geuwels, and achieved a five-star rating for our accommodation, in line with our third goal, which is to get people back on the farm to draw from this peaceful, nurturing environment.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Löw

Professor Dr Dr Peter Löw
Owner/shareholder of Vergenoegd Löw
Chief Curator of The European Heritage Project