Of swans and spur-winged geese at Steenberg

If you’ve had a bottle of our delicious wine or visited our estate, you’ve no doubt stopped to admire our logo. You may have wondered what the proud, preening bird signifies, and what kind of bird it is.

That bird holds a lot of meaning to us, and gestures to both our rich heritage and promising future.

As the oldest farm in the Cape, Steenberg has a great deal of mesmerising anecdotes and tall tales from the past. Established in 1682, the landscape of the farm was very different than we’ve come to know it today. The farm’s original owner, Catharina Ras, arrived in an untamed land as the first female to claim the right to property. We can’t help but admire her pioneering spirit, and often wonder what it was like for her to be so far from her native home of Lubeck, Germany, trying to make a home for herself and her children.

What was it like for her, we wonder, when she looked into the distance and saw dozens of glimmering swans feeding, drinking and swimming on the land? Did it make her hark back to the times she had seen these magnificent creatures in Lubeck?

We remember Catharina with great respect, and often spend hours talking about her brave days here at Steenberg, or Swaaneweide, as she lovingly named it after encountering the “swans”. So great is our admiration of Catharina, that we are almost reluctant to admit that she had made a mistake in identifying the swimming birds as swans!

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