Van Loveren Private Cellar

An aerial view of Van Loveren Estate

Van Loveren – a history of trees, four cousins and good wine.

It says something special about a person who plants trees, which their children and grandchildren will enjoy.  And so it is with Jean Retief, late matriarch of the Retiefs of van Loveren Estate in the Robertson Valley.

Van Loveren has been in the Retief family since 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him a part of a farm known as Goudmyn (Gold Mine), reputedly after the large sum of money paid for it!  The part farmed by Hennie was known as Goudmyn F.  In 1939 Hennie married Jean van Zyl.  Christina van Loveren was married to the first Van Zyl to come to South Africa in 1692.  Shortly after her marriage Jean was fortunate to obtain the bridal kist in which Christina had brought her wedding trousseau to the Cape by sea.  Hennie and Jean named the Estate for her.

Over the years they lived on van Loveren, Hennie and Jean planted many trees around their homestead to commemorate special occasions – historical events, political figures, eleven grandchildren, head boys and head girls, graduation ceremonies and other achievements.

In the early days of settlement of the Cape, farmers planted pomegranate hedges to surround sheep pens.  One such pomegranate tree is still standing next to the homestead and is the oldest and only original tree at Van Loveren.  A Washingtonia was planted after Hennie and Jean’s wedding in 1939, a New Caledonian Pine was planted when Germany surrendered in May 1945, a Natal Mahogany was planted after F W de Klerk, then State President, made his speech in Parliament on 2nd February 1990, unbanning the ANC and liberating Nelson Mandela.  The two roses under the tree were planted to commemorate the Nobel Peace Prize that he and Nelson Mandela had received jointly, the Peace of Vereeniging [his parliamentary constituency] for De Klerk and the Black Madonna for Mandela.

The Retiefs of Van Loveren

Since 1990, the four Retief grandsons have all joined their fathers, Nico and Wynand, at Van Loveren.  As each of them finished his studies at Stellenbosch, their grandmother, Jean planted a ‘Reach for the Sky’ at the wine tasting area, since she believes that for them the sky is the limit.  They are today’s legendary Four Cousins of van Loveren.

A Leopard tree, also known as a Brazilian ironwood, was planted for Nelson Mandela when he became President of South Africa in 1994.


Bussell Retief, Danelle van Rensburg & the Cellar Team

The Wines

There are over 40 wines issuing forth from the van Loveren cellar.  Divided into ranges, they all have their price points and special reasons for creation and with very specific customers in mind.

•    The van Loveren range consists of white and red cultivars and blends and includes the Estate’s dry and off dry Blancs de Noir, the Neil’s Pick Colombar and the delicious Pinot Gris and the very popular River Red – all “every palate, every occasion wines.”

•    The Wolverine Creek Reserve range includes the award winning Chardonnay which took the Gold Medal for Chardonnay at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2006, an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, a Shiraz and a Noble Late Harvest.

•    The Christina Van Loveren Limited Release Range has a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Shiraz and the Estate’s first MCC Brut.

•    Papillon is the name for their range of excellent value sparkling wines, two whites, a Brut which is just off-dry, the Demi-Sec which is semi sweet and a red full sweet Muscat toned Vin Doux.

•    The Five’s Reserve range came about when the van Loveren label celebrated its 25th anniversary.  A staff empowerment operation in which staff and the Retief family co-own a nearby farm sell their grapes to the van Loveren Cellar and produce a range of four wines and a 5 year old pot still brandy currently selling on the local and international market.

•    The well known Four Cousins Range is a real success story of South African wine.  It includes the Extra Light White – usually the first wine to hit the shelves after vintage, the hugely popular Light Natural Sweet Rosé which has brought many people to wine. The Four Cousins Sparkling range includes a Chardonnay Pinot Noir MCC, a dry Sauvignon Blanc Brut, a white, a pink and a red.

Van Loveren Homestead & its beautiful trees & gardens

The Retiefs are warm welcoming people, they make wine for every taste, every price point and for great enjoyment.

Wine growing area – Robertson
Owners The Retief Family
Winemaker Bussell Retief with Danelle van Rensburg
R317, Robertson to Bonnievale
P O Box 19 Klaasvoogds 6707
Tel: +27 23 615 1505
Fax: +27 21 615 1336
Email: Web:

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June 7th, 2009|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |