Phambili - Wellington Wines
From the ‘Valley of the Wagons’ came three separate stories ‒ the Wamakersvallei tale, the legend of Wellington Wynkelder and the legacy of one of the oldest wine cellars in South Africa, Bovlei Winery.
After many years of separation, these three cellars saw the synergies between them and by having the same goal of one central cellar for pressing grapes; they decided to take the future head on, together. Today, Wellington Wines stands proud with an honourable history, a strong human force driving their goals and an impressive product range of quality wines to specific requirements.
Wellington Wynkelder’s story goes back to the early 1900s when the then government of the Cape Colony granted £150 000 to fund co-operative cellars in the Western Cape. Nine were erected of which Wellington Wynkelder got in grapes as early as February 1906 from 15 members. The cellar, built on a slope for gravitation to take its natural course, initially took in 450 tonnes of grapes and this grew year by year. The wine was sold to the trade with the likes of J.Sedgewick Bertharams, Stanhagen, Castle Wine & Brandy and later to Krone in Worcester and KWV. The co-operative was liquidated in 1934 and in November 1934 Wellington Wynboere Koöperatiewe Maatskappy was established. From here on the co-operative cellar grew its members and modernised its cellar until what it was before the two cellars merged.
Wamakersvallei’s history dates back to 1941 when a group of like-minded grape growers founded this central cellar for the pressing of their grapes. The cellar grew its members and boasted a variety of fine wine brands for an even wider variety of wine lovers. A lot of time and effort were spent in the cellar and the vineyard to identify prime areas for growing the highest quality grapes for specific wine brands. The cellar quickly learned that the success of its products lay in the hands of the producers with their enormous variety of vineyards. They combined the knowhow of their members with modern viticultural and cellar practices which culminated in award winning wines across the various ranges and price points the cellar had to offer.
Situated near the foot of Bain’s Kloof Pass, Bovlei Cellar embraces its rich history, the families involved in building the cellar to what it is today and the picturesque view of The Man of Wellington, a rocky formation which is part of the Limietberge. The cellar has a small and exclusive membership of 32 wine farmers and produces 8 000 tons per annum, winning many awards for outstanding quality wines. Bovlei Cellar’s name discloses a great deal of its recipe for success, because it is certainly the case that the secret nestles in the soil - and the difference lies in the valley and its people. Because in its more than 106 years of existence, there have been only eight chairmen and descendants of the original families still serving on the board or are still members of the cellar.
Wellington Wynkelder, Wamakersvallei and Bovlei Cellar recently amalgamated. This finalises the union of these previously independent producer cellars.
Today Wellington Wines is a force to be reckoned with and a very attractive proposition for big contracts because of the cellar’s potential to make high volumes of excellent quality wine.
As a popular wine designer, Wellington Wines is a one stop production solution to many wine distributors, buyers and lovers and this amalgamation grants, without a doubt, momentum to the development of the Wellington Wine District.