About Nietgegund

In the 1690’s the French Huguenots were the first to plant vines in the rich soil of the Stellenbosch region.

Farms near a river and close to the mountain were in huge demand. That is where Nietgegund found itself. Nestled against the slopes of the Stellenbosch mountain, the Blaauwklippen River runs through the farm.

The cool breeze blowing from the cold Atlantic Ocean blows over the rich soil in the growing months, making it perfect for vines.

Over the years some of the world’s top wines were produced in the Stellenbosch area.

Nietgegund originally formed part of the farm Rustenburg, known today as Stellenkloof. Nietgegund is an old Dutch name meaning “not given”. It refers to most farms in the early days of the Cape and Stellenbosch area that were given to settlers to farm on, whereas the original owner of Nietgegund had to pay for it. 

That farm was subdivided in 1790 and Hermanus Johannes van Brakel became the first owner of Nietgegund.

They planted vines from the early days and good quality brandy was produced here. Later grappa was also distilled here. The Dreyer family bought this farm in 2000 and in 2004 first planted Merlot and Shiraz, and later Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The state of the art Tasting Room was opened in 2024.

The Golden Triangle of the Stellenbosch Region

Through the years the area in which Nietgegund is situated produced top wines. This area became known as the Golden Triangle of the Stellenbosch Wine Region. The diversity of soil types is the secret for good wines. Elevation in this area ranges from 60 to over 400 metres. Soil types include clay, sandstone and granite. This causes great water holding as well as drainage.

The cool breeze from False Bay and the cold Atlantic Ocean is perfect for producing smaller berries with optimum ripeness. This results in a concentration of fruit flavours, as well as colour and smooth tannins in red wines and the perfect acidity in white wines.

According to an article that appeared in The New York Times in 2008, no less than 60% of South Africa’s top wines are from the Golden Triangle area in Stellenbosch. 

Besides wine, lemons are also grown in this area for the export market.

The Limoncello

During World War II many Italians were taken captive and sent to concentration camps. Around 109 000 of these POW’s were sent to South Africa. Starting in June 1942 some 25 000 were allowed to serve as skilled laborers on South African farms and infrastructures such as the construction of Du Toitskloof Pass and Chapman’s Peak.

One of these Italians, Diego Martini, was sent to a farm owned by the grand parents of Jeanine Dreyer. Jeanine and her husband Jan are the owners of Nietgegund.

Diego Martini was an educated man from the south of Italy. Soon Jeanine’s mother’s younger sister (Meintjie) took an interest in this handsome, educated Italian who often cooked authentic Italian dishes for the family as he was allowed to stay in the homestead. When the war was over, he asked her parents to marry their daughter. They were totally against such a marriage and a heart broken Diago left for Italy. He left behind a recipe book. One of those recipes was for limoncello as made in the south of Italy.

Meintjie eventually got married but the marriage didn’t last long and she had to raise her 4 children all by herself. She never stopped thinking of the man she actually wanted to marry, and in her later years her children did some research and found out where he lived. He was now the owner of an Amalfi wine farm. They arranged for their mother to fly to Italy to go visit the man she loved. Her visit to him put closure to both their lives. Although he asked her to stay with him in Italy she decided to live her last days in South Africa. Nietgegund farm is also home to a lemon orchard – similar to the thick skinned lemons found on the Amalfi coast.

Jeanine Dreyer used Diego Martini’s exact recipe to produce limoncello on the farm. The skins of the lemons stay in a special, pure alcohol for around 2 months, soaking up all the lemon flavours of the lemons, whereafter it is strained and mixed with a white sugar syrup. The bottled Nietgegund limoncello contains 32% alcohol and leaves a wonderful zesty after taste. It is perfect for a pallet cleanser and especially after a meal as it aids digestion. Guests at the Nietgegund wine tasting centre are treated to this limoncello as a welcome drink. We serve our limoncello straight from the freezer. Bottled limoncello is also for sale on the farm.

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