Vergenoegd Wine Estate

Stellenbosch, Western Cape

The Vergenoegd Wine Estate, dating from 1696, is located near Stellenbosch and Somerset West. The historic farmstead is a Provincial Heritage Site and has recently come under new ownership. The landscape context of the farm needs to be developed sensitively to ensure that the unique character and sense of place of the farm is preserved, while ensuring that contemporary functions and uses can be accommodated within the space.

Our design focussed on the development of the core werf area, by taking a sensitive, context-appropriate approach to materiality and functionality. The design was approached sensitivity to incorporate a material palette consisting of low-key soft toned natural materials, indigenous vegetation and lawn areas, where appropriate. The landscape was designed using natural slate and hand-made construction techniques that become integrated with the grand landscape setting and vernacular Cape Dutch architectural typology.

The historic trees at the site that contribute significantly to the sense of place of the farmstead were mapped and incorporated into an overall strategic landscape vision for the farm. The plan includes a phased approach that can be implemented over time to ensure that the landscape potential of the site is maximised, thereby optimising the landscape functionality and user experience. The landscape strategy plan identified prominent views and vistas to and from the farmstead that needed to be screened and/ or protected. The plan also spatializes the placement of green infrastructure including screening, planting, berms, riverine walkways, cycle routes and the clearance of invasive and obstructive vegetation to open up views and vistas towards prominent features in the surrounding context, thereby ensuring optimal use and functionality of the farm, while enhancing and preserving its unique heritage characteristics.