80 YEARS AT A GLANCE
our cornerstone timeline
So where did it all begin? Over 80 years there have been many milestones to savour. A glance back in time, to the moments that made greatness To reach a milestone as monumental as 80 years of existence is no small feat. To do it in the competitive wine industry even more so. It is Perdeberg’s commitment to its key cornerstones that has brought it to this stage – thriving at 80 and ﬁt for the future.
Join us on a journey to see how all the pieces came together for the Home of Chenin Blanc and Dryland-inﬂuenced Wines, like the diverse but harmonious parts that make up a great soil and allow a vine to grow.
Perdeberg Cellar was founded in 1941 when Jan Rossouw, an astute local farmer, disillusioned with the poor prices being paid for grapes, suggested that the farmers of the region begin producing their own wines. They knew then, as we do now, that our unique terroir at the foot of the Paardeberg had something valuable to offer the wine world.
The ﬁrst grapes were manually pressed in 1942 and in 1944 the ﬁrst board of directors and management team were formed. These early pioneers dreamt big and understood that always staying a step ahead of the pack was pivotal to produce superior quality wines.
From 1956 Joseph Huskisson was an inﬂuential ﬁgure in modernising Perdeberg’s winemaking methods and creating a culture of excellence. He was appointed as the ﬁrst full-time winemaker and made Perdeberg only the second cellar in South Africa to use cold fermentation, while also importing other new technologies from Europe.
In 1990 came another Perdeberg ﬁrst when the cellar was the ﬁrst winery in the region to appoint a full-time viticulturist. This ensured that the advances in the vineyard mirrored the modernisation of the cellar.
At the turn of the new century Perdeberg began to focus on customer engagement. In 2005 with THE ONE WITH THE ZEBRA campaign, Perdeberg entered the bottled wine market and we soon earned our stripes in the local and international awards arena. More importantly, this bold step brought us in direct contact with consumers and allowed us to quickly develop a demand for our product through an international distribution network.
Where did the Zebra inspiration originate for this campaign that so vividly captured the imagination of wine lovers? The name Perdeberg is derived from the mountain zebras that roamed our region long ago, mistaken for wild horses by the local inhabitants.
The marketing success of the early 2000s and the subsequent increased popular following, allowed Perdeberg to introduce the public to the essence of its wine philosophy – dryland viticulture.
In 2013 The Dryland Collection range was launched which one year later won Best Producer at the Michelangelo Awards. This year also marked the launch of Joseph’s Legacy, an exclusive tribute that reﬂects the contribution of Joseph Huskisson in Perdeberg’s quality evolution.
05 CHENIN BLANC
2014 saw the launch of our Barrel Maturation Facility. As our premium wine market continued to grow, so did the need for a dedicated temperature-controlled facility where wine could develop and mature in barrels. The barrel cellar was built in 2014 and dedicated to Pieter du Toit, a director with a long-serving family history. These barrels are the nurturing vessels for our premium products, particularly where our Dry Land Collection wines are carefully crafted.
In 2016, we celebrated 75 years of winemaking excellence in an old shed on the original farm of our founder Jan Rossouw. In the same year we launched our new, modern, public-friendly facilities to become a destination of choice in the winelands. With exciting food and drink offerings, as well as amenities and hospitality par excellence, Perdeberg Cellar has done just that.
Caring for our environment and our people has always been top priority at Perdeberg. In 2020 we switched to organic fertilisers, with biological pest control and water conservation also being key focus areas. We empower our workers and community through various initiatives, while Wieta and Fairtrade accreditation of the winery and producers ensure that we continuously meet the highest ethical trade and labour standards.
2021 – Today we celebrate 80 years of consistent quality.
Over the years, many a great wine has been crafted at Perdeberg Cellar, acclaimed by numerous awards both locally and internationally. Excellence is more than a mindset, it is a way of life – passed on by generations of Perdeberg pioneers.