Vergenoegd (which literally means ‘satisfied’ in Dutch) is a family owned winery, beautifully situated at the gateway to the Stellenbosch Wine Route in the Cape of South Africa. Vergenoegd is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa; the property’s founding dates to 1696. For the last 6 generations the Faure family has been farming the estate and making exceptional wines. Producing traditional, full-bodied, age worthy wines of depth and power has been Vergenoegd’s calling card from generation to generation. Appropriately, Vergenoegd has consistently received the highest praise for its wines, both in South Africa and internationally, and the estate now ranks as one of the top producers of wine on the African continent.
Although modern wine making equipment is employed and sustainable vineyard management techniques are practiced throughout the estate’s vineyards, minimal intervention in the wine making process is the overriding philosophy at Vergenoegd. The result is a bevy of Old World style red wines that aptly reflect the unique terroir of the False Bay area of Stellenbosch. Moreover, the estate’s red wines age beautifully for up to 10 years or more. Each receives 16-20 months in small oak barrels before bottling and then at least one additional year in bottle before release. All of the major Bordeaux varietals, Syrah, and two Portuguese grapes, Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional, are grown at Vergenoegd, though Cabernet Sauvignon remains the winery’s single most decorated varietal.
Recently, Vergenoegd created two new wines, a red and a white blend, under the Runner Duck label. These wines are named for the flock of Indian Runner Ducks that forage for snails and other aquatic life around the estate’s beautifully maintained pond. While the estate’s Cabernet, Shiraz, and Merlot are bred for the long haul, Runner Duck is meant to be consumed in the first five years of life.
Wine has been Vergenoegd’s claim to fame since the 18th century, but the estate possesses several other noteworthy attributes. After Johannes Gysbertus Faure purchased the estate in 1820, he and his brother, Sir Peter Faure, bred racehorses at Vergenoegd. In addition, the Faure’s 18th century homestead, constructed in 1745 and remodeled in 1773 with its “holbol” gable, is one of the finest examples of what has come to be known as “Cape” architecture. The plasterwork on the Manor House and original bell tower are well preserved examples of European building traditions becoming uniquely “Cape” in the hands of early tradesmen.
Consequently, Vergenoegd is truly a historic site as well as a paragon of great wine.