Lush dark fruits, a bit of spice from the oak, all wrapped in chunky but ripe tannins rolling around the mouth. For lovers of South Africa's home-cloned own grape, this Lanzerac is the business!
Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon. The grande dame is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape heritage. Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of the historical town of Stellenbosch, the Estate boasts views of dramatic mountain ranges, endless rows of lush vineyards and hectares of gardens shaded by giant Oak trees.
The homestead was transformed into a manor house in 1959 – reminiscent of the traditional French way of fusing a country hotel and wine estate. Today the iconic property hosts an elegant five-star Country hotel, acclaimed bars, restaurants and Deli, a remarkable tasting venue and a chic day spa.
Lanzerac is steeped in spellbinding history, having been established in 1692 – a mere 13 years after Stellenbosch itself and is the third oldest farm in the area. The first owner was Isaac Schrijver who planted the very first vineyards and, unsurprisingly, named the farm Schoongezicht, meaning wonderful view. In the early 1800’s the first cellar was erected and subsequently complemented by the iconic Manor House, which exhibits an unusually high level of sophistication for Cape Dutch architecture of the period with its main gable dating back to 1830.
The Manor House and Werf, which now stands proud as a Provincial Heritage Site, underwent significant changes by one of the property’s most influential owners, Elizabeth Catherina ‘Kitty’ English, who bought Schoongezicht in 1920. Mrs English changed the estate’s name to Lanzerac, rumoured to be after General Charles Lanrezac – a French General, who commanded the French Fifth Army at the outbreak of World War I. She also transformed it during her nine years of ownership into one of the most modern wineries in the Cape, laying the foundations for Stellenbosch’s world-renowned wines. Mrs English passed away in 1929, and in 1934 the Estate was bought by Jacobus Tribelhorn – the builder who had extended the Manor House for Mrs English. He continued her legacy of producing wines of exceptional quality.
The wine farm’s next owner, Angus Batts Buchanan, improved the estate’s reputation to another level by winning several awards for the wines, sherry and brandy that he proudly produced and, in doing so, established Lanzerac as a leading brand.
Buchanan’s nephew, ‘Lord’ David Rawdon, ushered in an exciting new era when he purchased Lanzerac in 1958, by converting the farm into an elegant hotel and landmark. He converted the original cellar and its surrounding buildings into bars, lounges, dining area and hotel rooms.
Since then the Lanzerac become synonymous with Stellenbosch’s social agenda and provided many local and foreign tourists a unique winelands experience, characterised by its heritage and commitment to friendly ‘Boland’ culture and service commitment.
Lanzerac Wine Estate, home to the world’s first bottled Pinotage and one of the oldest heritage farms in the Western Cape dating back to 1692, has been cultivating award-winning wines for decades. Nestled in the Jonkershoek Valley between the majestic Stellenbosch mountains, this historic Estate’s rich winemaking history can be traced back to the early 1900s, when the first Lanzerac wine was bottled from grapes harvested on the farm. Since then, Lanzerac Wine Estate has cemented itself as a distinguished wine producer with a commitment to superior quality wines both internationally and locally.
The year 1925 saw Professor Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, successfully cross two grape varietals, Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut), to create South Africa’s first unique and indigenous wine grape variety – Pinotage. Several years later, Lanzerac Wine Estate became the first winery in the world to use the term ‘Pinotage’ on their label when they marketed the 1959 vintage under the name ‘Lanzerac’. This visionary release marked the birth of Pinotage as a unique variety from South Africa.
To this day, Lanzerac Wine Estate, under the leadership of Cellar Master, Wynand Lategan and Viticulturist Danie Malherbe, is still producing award-winning Pinotage, along with a wide variety of other excellent quality wines.