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
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.