Anglo’s 300-year-old wine farm damaged by fires

Western Cape vineyard Vergelegen.

Western Cape vineyard Vergelegen.

Published Jan 5, 2017


Johannesburg - Anglo American’s 300-year-old

Vergelegen wine farm in South Africa has been damaged by wildfires as

strong winds spread the blaze across parts of the country’s Western Cape


“There’s been quite a bit of damage to the wine-farm

areas,” including Vergelegen, Theo Layne, a spokesman for the City of Cape

Town’s Fire and Rescue department, said by phone Wednesday. While residents in

the Somerset West area have been allowed to return to their properties,

emergency crews remain on high alert as the fire hasn’t yet been contained, he


Willem Adriaan van der Stel, son of the Governor of the

Cape of Good Hope, was granted the farm in 1700. London-based diversified

mining company Anglo American bought Vergelegen, about 50 kilometres southeast

of Cape Town, in 1987.

“The fire has not damaged buildings, but has damaged some

of the land on the farm,” Pranill Ramchander, head of corporate communications

for Anglo American South Africa, said in an e-mailed response. There have been

no injuries and the company doesn’t have any confirmed information on what

caused the fire, he said.

Read also:  Anglo American rallies again

After Anglo acquired the property, whose name means

“situated far away,” the wine-making and viticulture team spent a year digging

more than 3 000 holes to analyse soil profiles and used weather stations to find

the perfect terrain on which to establish its vineyards, according to the

Vergelegen website.

“Since the production of its first wine in 1992,

Vergelegen Estate and its wines have earned more than 200 awards, including

winning the coveted Chateau Pichon Longueville Trophy twice for the Best

Bordeaux Blend at the International Wine & Spirits Competition,” according

to the website.



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