Bellevue Wine Estate in the prestigious Stellenbosch wine-growing region in South Africa cultivates approximately 152ha of vineyards on a variety of sites. This enables the winemaker to select the very best pockets from which to make the exquisite wines that Bellevue Wine Estate is renowned for.
It boasts with an original Cape Dutch homestead built-in 1803. After careful restoration in 1993, the house has been declared a National Monument. Together with the historical home, there is also a signal cannon which formed part of the important defense system of the original Cape Colony. Cannons were fired as warning signals and with the expansion of the Colony in the 17th century, signal posts were placed at different high lying places together with their own signal cannon each. In 1862, the owner of Bellevue, Dirk Cloete Morkel fetched the Brackenfell discarded cannon when the practice of signaling became obsolete. Also restored and fired once in the 1960s, the original signal cannon has rested on Bellevue Wine Estate for more than 150 years.
Recently a state of the art tasting room and restaurant has been furnished inside one of the historical wings of the cellar. Child friendly and with modern finishes and comfort, this proves a destination not to be missed!
Bellevue Wine Estate has been owned by the Morkel family since 1861. The first Morkel to set foot in South Africa was Philip Morkel from German descent. He arrived in Cape Town en route to the Netherlands from the East while the ship was set out to anchor in Cape Town harbor for some time. During that time, he married a South African woman within 3 months, and after the last voyage, he returned to the Cape for good. He became a “Free Burger” (given citizenship) and thus ensured the lineage of Morkels in South Africa.
Dirk Cloete Morkel, a descendant of Philip Morkel purchased Bellevue Wine Estate in 1861 primarily for livestock, and also planted a few vines. It was PK Morkel, grandson of Dirk Morkel who did groundbreaking work in terms of establishing vines for wine production and was the pioneer in the conversion of Bellevue to a Wine Estate. The Morkels, especially under the leadership of current Dirkie Morkel, have developed the old farm into a state of the art wine farm with a large production cellar, a large variety of noble cultivars, award-winning wines, heritage site, and tourist attraction.