Winegrowing came to South Africa in the middle of the 17th century, courtesy of the Dutch East India Company and for 315 years Rust en Vrede stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch.
While there were periods when wine was produced, it's within the last handful of decades, when the Engelbrecht family purchased the winery in 1977, that the South African art form of wine making took center focus.
Rust en Vrede became the first private winery in the country to specialize in the exclusive production of red wines, and in the early 1980s became the first producer in South Africa to make a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. This award winning wine would become known as Rust en Vrede Estate. In 1998, the generational reigns re-focused, as Jannie Engelbrecht handed Rust en Vrede over to his son, Jean.
Many accolades have been bestowed upon the estate including personal selection by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner.
Today Rust en Vrede continues to be a fine example of what Stellenbosch is all about and has been named to Wine Spectator's “Top 100 Wines” four years in a row, a first for a South African winery. Additionally, the estate stands alone as the only winery in South Africa with the most 90+ ratings.
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The vineyard is north facing and consists of a mixture of decomposed Helderberg granite and Table Mountain sandstone, classified as a Tukulu soil type with medium growth potential.
Jannie Engelbrecht purchased the winery in 1977. In 1998, Jannie handed the reins of Rust en Vrede over to his son Jean.