Our Family - Overgaauw Wine Estate | Stellenbosch

A legacy of pioneers

Everything Overgaauw is true to our roots. Heritage is not just a concept; it is a soil, roots and fruit reality lived out daily on our century-old estate. The first Van Velden to make wine at Overgaauw was Abraham, who founded the farm in 1905 and built his wine cellar four years later. He laid a foundation far bigger than a wine business – his would be a legacy of pioneering spirit, respect for the land and a passion for excellence. It was a vision so full of heart that it passed as naturally as DNA from one Van Velden generation to the next, with the result that over 100 years later, Overgaauw can make the extraordinary claim of being a fourth-generation family wine farm.

1905

Overgaauw Wine Estate founded.

Van Velden: A Legacy of Pioneers - Overgraauw Wine Estate

1905

Abraham van Velden (Oupa Valie)

It is only fitting that the first Van Velden winemaker, the father of winemaking generations, should share the name of another great patriarch in history (Abraham Perold, the ‘father of Pinotage’). Abraham founded the 90ha farm in 1905 and named it after his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Overgaauw. He built his wine cellar four years later, literally laying the foundation for the generations to follow, and shifting the farm’s focus to all things vinous. So commenced Overgaauw’s production of wine – initially only for bulk sale.

Van Velden: A Legacy of Pioneers - Overgraauw Wine Estate

1945

David van Velden Snr

1945 marked a new era, with Abraham’s son David (Senior) taking over management of the farm, and introducing Port varietals to the blessed terroir. He planted five different cultivars – Tinta Barocca, Tinta Francisca, Cornifesto, Souzão and Tinta Roriz – and in accordance with traditional Portuguese methods, he harvested and crushed the grapes together. This was an industry first in South Africa.

1970

The maiden vintage of Overgaauw Estate wines bottled.Among the first to mature Cabernet Sauvignon in French barriques. First in South Africa to produce Cinsaut.

1971 – present day

The only producer of the Sylvaner – a refreshing and medium-bodied, aromatic and spicy German varietal. First South African wine estate to plant Portuguese Port cultivars.

1973

Founder member of Stellenbosch Wine Route (now covering over 120 cellars, the route started with just 8 wineries).

Van Velden: A Legacy of Pioneers - Overgraauw Wine Estate

1973

Braam van Velden

In 1973, the baton was passed to the third generation of Van Veldens – David Snr’s only son, Braam. A graduate from Stellenbosch University with a BCom degree, Braam spent a year at the Geisenheim Institute of Wine in Germany where he studied viticulture. Together with viniculture, this became his passion. Following the Van Velden way of intensive, hard work; Braam engaged in an exhaustive mapping of the farm’s soils in the late 1970s, to determine the best-matched varietals to terroir. At the start of Braam’s tenure, 90% of the farm was planted to white varietals. Today, almost 60% of vineyards are planted to reds.

1979

First Bordeaux blend in South Africa, Tria Corda.

1982

First South African estate to bottle a single-varietal Merlot.

1984

Founder member of the Cape Wine Makers Guild.

Van Velden: A Legacy of Pioneers - Overgraauw Wine Estate

2009 - Present

David Van Velden

David grew up on Overgaauw. When he took his first steps, they were in the direction of the cellar where his father Braam had great trouble keeping young David out of the cellar and out of harm’s way. When David turned five, Braam gave up and had to be content with David as his constant shadow. Needless to say, he experienced his first wine tastings rather early on. He is resolutely proud to be continuing a line of winemaking pioneers – the sense of respect for the land and legacy deeply ingrained in his DNA. This heritage of 110 years of Van Velden wine-making has stood David in good stead as he puts his stamp on the Overgaauw Wines.

2009 onwards

Aspiring to elevate the wine quality and perception of the Overgaauw Terroir with every vintage.

A legacy of pioneers

The metered strides of the first Van Velden winemaker laid out a legacy of family, heart and a respect for the land – a heritage trodden deep into the DNA of people and place, to be cemented and enriched by each generation that followed.

It was almost a century before the founding of Overgaauw farm that the very first Van Velden, Pastor Dirk, left the Netherlands with his wife Elizabeth Overgaauw, to make their home in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Their son trekked down to Stellenboch and married the daughter of a local farmer, whom he subsequently swept back to KwaZulu-Natal.

As fate would have it, the couple met a premature death, leaving an orphaned one-year-old son – Abraham Julius – to return to the farm of his maternal grandparents. In 1905 the original farm, By-den-Weg, was subdivided into three properties – one of which was given to Abraham Julius van Velden. Today it’s known as Overgaauw Wine Estate.

1905
ABRAHAM VAN VELDEN

1945
DAVID VAN VELDEN SNR

1973
BRAAM VAN VELDEN

2009
DAVID VAN VELDEN