An Englishman in South Africa

Julian Johnson, director of Vondeling Wines, moved to South Africa from England in 1990 to set up a farm in Wellington. Producing his first wine in 1993, he won much acclaim before selling up to buy his farm in Paarl’s Voor-Paardeberg region and convincing old friends Anthony Ward and Richard Gower to invest in the wine

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The result is just fantastic as Julian used the finance to update the  Vondeling Farm, with 300 years of wine-making tradition, and create wines that embrace modern techniques with a traditional character.  

The site is very picturesque and the farmhouse (see picture) is an original feature, built in 1750. They now rent it out as a guest house for people who wish to visit and experience the beauty of the surroundings and engage in any number of activities they have on offer. This is a further indictment of the philosophy of the place as tradition meets modernity to fantastic effect.


Paarl means‘pearl’ in Afrikaans and is the home of South-African wines in that it hosts the Coo-operative Growers Association which has administered the South African wine trade since 1918.

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