About 40 or 50 years ago there were very few independent wine producers in SA. Most wine farmers were really grape farmers, selling in bulk to the wholesale merchants. Consumer interest in fine wine was negligible.

It was only in the late 1960s that some of what became the founding families started bottling a little of their own production for sale under the farm labels. Three of them — Simonsig, Spier and Delheim — launched the Stellenbosch wine route, which brought them into direct conflict with their bulk clients, who threatened a boycott to bring an end to this initiative.

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