The Vondeling farm was granted to a Swedish settler in 1704, so beginning three hundred years of winegrowing on this part of the Paardeberg. English farmer Julian Johnsen bought a wine farm in Wellington in 1990 and a decade later with the help of some friends took on the restoration of the vineyards and winery at Vondeling, drawn in by the irresistible potential of the Paardeberg for top quality wine.
Winemaker Matt Copeland joined in 2007 and along with fellow winemaker Emile van der Merwe and farm manager Magnus Joubert (an expert in organic viticulture) has gradually, painstakingly, and unfussily built Vondeling’s reputation for quality and consistency as well as helped put Voor-Paardeberg on the map. Voor-Paardeberg literally means “in front of the Paardeberg” in Afrikaans, the Paardeberg itself being the “Horse Mountain”. It’s a koppie, or small headland or rocky outcrop made mostly of ancient, decomposed granite. The microclimate is cooler than the surrounding area (Swartland to the north and Paarl to the south), sometimes several degrees cooler on a given day.