Blaauwklippen suffers tremendous loss due to fire

Blaauwklippen Manor House

By Renate Engelbrecht

Tuesday, Apr 09

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate – the oldest wine farm in Stellenbosch – suffered a tremendous loss after a devastating fire burnt down the beautiful Manor House and more over the weekend.

A post on the wine estate‘s Instagram feed reads: “Gail force winds cause destruction to Blaauwklippen’s iconic buildings. A fire that broke out at the neighbouring farm in the early hours of Sunday morning, has resulted in devastating destruction to some of Blaauwklippen Estate’s iconic buildings. The fire spread to the Manor House from the dam’s side, then to the Jonkershuis and eventually the Cathedral. All three buildings have burnt to the ground.”

Newmark Hotels & Reserves, Blaauwklippen Wine Estate’s hospitality partner’s CEO, Neil Markovits says: “This is a devastating loss not only for Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, but for South African heritage. Blaauwklippen is one of the oldest wine farms in Stellenbosch. Both the Jonkershuis and Manor House were beautiful examples of Cape Dutch architecture dating back to the 1700s.”

Blaauwklippen historic fire

“Thanks to the heroic efforts of Blaauwklippen’s Disaster Management crew, staff and local fire rescue services, all guests and staff were successfully evacuated and no injuries were sustained,” a statement by Newmark Hotels & Reserves confirms.

Blaauwklippen’s social media also says that six fire teams, including Blaauwklippen’s Disaster Management team, together with neighbouring farms were on the scene within minutes to attend to the fire – one of five in the area. “Battling winds of up to 139km per hour, thankfully there were no injuries although the destruction was devastating.”

Jonkershuis was built in 1720, followed by the Manor House in 1789. Blaauwklippen’s Cathedral, a popular wedding venue, was built in 2018.

It’s a sad, sad day for Blaauwklippen and its people and one can only be grateful that no injuries were incurred.

From Suitcase & Chardonnay, I am sending heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by this tremendous, historic loss.  

Although the buildings have been destroyed, Blaauwklippen says their Grande Dame will rise again. “For now, the accommodation section of the estate will be closed to the public, but the good news is that the rest of the facilities were left unscathed. The Tasting House, De Blaauwe Kitchen, Market, bike park and all other activities will reopen to the public from Wednesday, 10 April [2024],” they confirmed on social media.

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