Rust en Vrede
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Established in 1694, this historical farm is now run by Jannie Engelbrecht and his family. Built between 1780 and 1825, the three historical buildings that comprise the homestead are some of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture in existence.
Rust en Vrede is the realization of a dream for Jannie and Ellen Engelbrecht. At the end of 1977 Jannie bought the previously neglected Estate and immediately set about restoring the Estate and wine cellar to its former splendour.
The rebirth of Rust en Vrede marked the beginning of a new era in the South African wine industry as for the first time a proprietor / winemaker was to specialise in the exclusive production of red wine. This strategy was met with immediate rewards and from the maiden vintage, Rust en Vrede has received gold medals and has been doing so every year to date. In 1984 a unique underground cellar was designed and built, also a first in South Africa.
During 1987 Jannie followed this up by appointing South African Champion Winemaker and red wine specialist, Kevin Arnold. This partnership was seen as a further commitment and dedication towards excellence. For more than a decade this team of Jannie and Kevin would keep Rust en Vrede on the forefront of the South Afncan wine industry and establish the Estate as a respected producer in the international arena, exporting wine to over 20 countries.
As we at Rust en Vrede have committed ourselves in pursuit of excellence and creating a totally unique red wine, we built a facility exclusively for the production of red wine only. We realized that we needed a state of the art winery. Not for capacity or show, but simply because no one in the world is producing the finest red wines without it. We also committed ourselves to the finest French barrels and use them for one fill only.
As one of the most prestigious privately owned red wine Estates in South Africa, we envision Rust en Vrede producing only one flagship wine, the Estate wine (blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot) in the not too distant future.
Jannie and Ellen Engelbrecht live in the manor house on the Estate. Jannie, a former international rugby player with 74 appearances in the Springbok jersey, and Ellen, a former Miss South Africa, have put a lifetime's work into Rust en Vrede. They created a lovely house for their three children in tranquil surroundings and guided the Estate through troubled political times in the 80's. During this period Jannie established a healthy international market in which the Estate has gone from strength to strength. Today they can sit back and enjoy the fruit of their labour, though always willing to lend a hand and render advice. Their foresight, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm has laid a solid foundation for the generations to come.
As time moves on, one generation has to pass the torch to the next. At the end of 1997, our winemaker, Kevin Arnold, departed to pursue his own wine making venture and Jannie handed the reigns to his son Jean. This led to a new direction for Rust en Vrede along with a redefined strategy for the next millennium.
Jean Engelbrecht appointed his own team with Louis Strydom as cellarmaster and winemaker-in-chief, and Cobus Joubert as marketing manager responsible for implementing a new direction for marketing and product awareness. Former airline pilot, Jean concedes that his vision is the same as that of his father - making Rust en Vrede the premium red wine Estate in the country, but admits that his vision is somewhat different: "When my farther started out, Rust en Vrede was one of a handful of cellars, whereas today there are over 120 cellars in the Stellenbosch region alone. That is why an enormous amount of attention to detail is needed to compete successfully in the global market."
He believes that the best investment any company can make is in people and therefore admits that he will go to great lengths to ensure that Rust en Vrede has the best people employed. "Nothing comes even remotely close to the dedication, enthusiasm and personal commitment of the people involved in this company."
Louis Strydom is a product of Elsenburg College, Stellenbosch, after which he joined Saxenburg Wine Estate. During this period he also produced vintages in St. Emillion, France, at Chateaux Capion. Louis is very much dedicated to specialising in the creation of the finest red wine possible and he has a dynamic presence in the cellar, coupled to a hands - on approach. Louis is someone who does not take himself too seriously. He is not protecting any egos or holding on to life too tightly. He is an unconventional person with an irrational faith in everyone's ability to make a dream come true - a dream that eventually will change the course of our wine industry.
First to specialize in the exclusive production of red wine only, Rust en Vrede is now South Africa’s Premium red wine Estate. Our full-bodied, new-oak matured wines are a manifestation of the supremacy of the Stellenbosch region when it comes to the making of truly great red wines.
Rust en Vrede is proud to be part of this and continues to pursue the excellence that has characterized wines from Stellenbosch and specifically our private Estates, who undoubtedly are the heartbeat of this magnificent region.
See Rust en Vrede wines we sell