In 2007 we took over the lease of the Heritage Square, taking over all the gardienship of a vine that was decorating the courtyard, giving it a vineyard effect in the middle of the city. Planted around 1771, the grapevine in the Heritage Square courtyard is believed to be the oldest fruit bearing vine in the Southern Hemisphere. After further research we discovered that it is a Crouchen Blanc, one of the first varieties to arrive in the Cape from the Western Pyrenees in France.
It’s a small miracle that after all this time she’s still around – particularly as in the 1960′s the Square was under threat of demolition, during which, it was left abandoned for over a decade. This tenacious little vine has, and still does, survive un-watered, apart from the Cape’s winter rains.
Nowadays we produce around 20 liters of wine with the know-how and assistance of Jean-Vincent Ridon from Signal Hill. The wine gets produced in the small urban vinery of Jean Vincent at the Heritage Square. Every year we donate about 10 liters to be auctioned and donated to charities.
This incredible vine has lived for centuries, bearing fruit we hope it will do so for centuries to come.
We hope you enjoy this year’s vintage,
Victoria & Johan Nel & Jean-Vincent Ridon
Download our Heritage Square 2009 Wine Auction Brochure (800kB Acrobat pdf) to find out more about the vine, the wine, the artists and the beneficiary.