Vine grafting has been plied by this family since 1912 , when Manie Smit's father, Pieter Daniël Smit, grafted the first commercial vines on Leeuwrivier.
Pieter Daniel Smit
The grape has a far longer history than man. Fossilised leaves and seeds indicate that vines were growing in their natural habitat long before the appearance of man on earth.
Ancient man, no doubt, ate and stored the grapes. Fermentation was the inevitable natural process resulting from the storage of the grapes. The fermented juice was drunk and man became a consumer of wine.
During the last 4 decades of the 19th century, phylloxera - a small root louse - devastated the European vineyards. The only practical means of growing healthy vines is to graft them onto rootstock of American origin whose roots are resistant to the insect.
Needless to say, the art of vine grafting requires considerable expertise and experience and has been plied by this family since 1912 , when Manie Smit's father, Pieter Daniël Smit, grafted the first commercial vines on Leeuwrivier.
The Smit and Kruger families, who are presently living on the farm, are direct descendants of the first Malan family who emigrated from France. The farm was originally bought by Daniël Malan in 1766.
The present family is the eighth generation on the farm and proudly practices the art of vine grafting