The Bellingham story starts in 1693 when Hollander Gerrit Janz van Vuuren and his French Huguenot wife planted the first 1,000 vines on the estate, then known as Bellinchamp (“pretty fields”). It then passed from family to family until 1943, when Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk purchased the somewhat derelict farm, set about restoring the manor house, gardens and vineyards, and effectively pioneered the modern renaissance of the Bellingham Estate in Franschhoek.
The Podlashuks replanted the farm to vineyards and travelled to France and Germany to do extensive wine research. Upon return, they buckled down and released the Cape’s first rosé in 1949, followed in quick succession by the Premier Grand Cru in 1951, and the first single varietal Shiraz in 1956.
The 80s and 90s saw vineyard developments, cellar expansion, and the beginning of Bellingham’s classic New World winemaking philosophy. Today, while still inspired by its history of innovation, ingenuity, and foresight, the brand is firmly set in the 21st century, producing contemporary, structured wines with an unmistakable sense of place and style.
The winemakers at Bellingham believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. That is why they source only the finest grapes and nurture them from vine to bottle. In order to preserve the natural fruit characteristics of individual grape cultivars, they lavish time and attention on each wine throughout the production process.