Vrede and Lust Celebrates 20 Years in the Wine Industry

On 3 October 1996, a brand-new era was beckoning in the history of Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, when the Buys family became the new owners. With this ownership came a vision of resurrection and now, 20 years on, they are celebrating the sweet taste of their wine success.

When Dana Buys, then Chairman of an international computer software company, saw the opportunity to benefit from the deregulating changes in the South African wine industry, he purchased Vrede en Lust plus the neighbouring portion traditionally attached to it. He entered into a partnership with his younger brother, Etienne, who initially managed the farm and the viticultural improvements. Etienne has since taken over the day to day management Vrede en Lust.

It is considered one of Dana’s personal milestones that his family could realise the sustainable potential of this pioneering Franschhoek wine estate. Not only have they managed to respect the 328-year history, they were also able to transform it into a modern wine farm, fit to compete with the best in the industry. Following significant investments in the estate over the past two decades, it is now a profitable business.

A big part of their success is owing to the strong teams they have established for each of their passionate offerings such as viticulture, winemaking, marketing, tourism, and hospitality, which are all backed by a strong finance and administrative team. Vrede en Lust is also considered a sustainability champion thanks to producing their wines through environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. In operation since 2013, Vrede en Lust’s solar installation was the largest of its kind in the South African wine industry.

According to Susan Erasmus, Winemaker at Vrede en Lust, their continued growth has seen to the fact that they are currently pressing 750 tons of their own grapes, including those from the Casey’s Ridge Wine Farm in Elgin.

“We will continue to make wines that wine lovers can enjoy and love, whilst also learning how to adapt our style according to vintage and climatic challenges,” says Erasmus.

Their range and style of wines have grown tremendously, leading to numerous awards, including the 2010 IWC Award for the best South African red wine that was bestowed upon the 2007 Boet Erasmus, as well as other featured wines that enjoys a regular spot amongst the top ten wines at Winex.

Says Buys. “Our vision for the next 20 years is to build on the foundation that we have laid and establish Vrede en Lust as one of South Africa’s most loved wine farms. We are now well positioned to take our well-developed brand and fine wines into the top restaurants of South Africa and expand our international footprint.”

Perhaps the words of Robert Mondavi truly reflect the spirt of Vrede en Lust best, when he says:

“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilisation and the art of living”.

read more on vnl.co.za