At Bellingham we believe that great wines are made in the vineyard.

The Bellingham story starts in 1693 when Hollander Gerrit Janz van Vuuren and his French Huguenot wife planted the first 1 000 vines on the estate, then known as Bellinchamp (‘pretty fields’). It then passed from family to family until 1943, when Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk purchased the somewhat derelict farm, set about restoring the manor house, gardens and vineyards and effectively pioneered the modern renaissance of the Bellingham Estate in Franschhoek.

The Podlashuks replanted the farm to vineyards and travelled to France and Germany to do extensive wine research. Upon return, they buckled down and released the Cape’s first rosé in 1949, followed in quick succession by the Premier Grand Cru in 1951 and the first single varietal Shiraz in 1956.

The 80s and 90s saw vineyard developments, cellar extensions and the beginning of Bellingham’s classic New World winemaking philosophy. Today, while still inspired by its history of innovation, ingenuity and foresight, the brand is firmly set in the 21st century, producing contemporary, structured wines with an unmistakable sense of place and style.

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The Bernard Old Vine Chenin Blanc

CHENIN BLANC

The Winemaker

Richard Duckitt

Head winemaker Richard Duckitt has made giant strides in the industry since growing up between the vineyards of his family farm in the Darling region. After his studies, he worked in the cellars of California and later Bordeaux before returning to his roots in South Africa.

“Each step of my winemaking career has been an incredible journey and has played a vital part in my experience gained, my personal character, and the passion for wine I have today,” says Richard, adding that “there is no better teacher than experience, and my road travelled certainly paved the way, all the way to Bellingham…”

Richard says his winemaking style is ‘terroir-driven’: “for me the vineyards are what make the wines exciting. If the vineyards are good, I am a happy man. I believe wine styles are determined by the vineyards and origins. To make good wine, one must recognise the origin and what style of wine the vineyards are most inclined towards, and then run with that.”

The Viticulturist

Heinie Nel

Heinie grew up on a farm where he developed a passion for viticulture at a young age. After he completed his studies in viticulture at Elsenburg, he started his career at Bosman Family Vineyards, where he had the privilege to expand his knowledge in viticulture for 9 years. In 2013 he started working at Perdeberg Cellar as viticulturist, allowing him the opportunity to work with a diverse group of growers and terroir.

He now oversees a wide number of vineyard growers ensuring viticulture practices are followed in order to produce grapes that reflect the best of their terroir. Over the years Heinie has learnt to understand the critical link between quality grapes and wine and has a major passion for premium wine.