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For most of the past 350 years Stellenbosch has dominated the country’s wine landscape. You would think that any land with viticultural potential near the town would long ago have been turned to commercial use. Yet in the past 40 years three of the country’s most important estates were created on properties with no real vinous history.

In the mid-1980s Gyles Webb established Thelema on an old fruit farm at the top of Helshoogte. Some years later GT Ferreira acquired a property adjacent to Webb’s and launched Tokara. While both properties were some distance away from the town itself, they had fabulous high-altitude sites ideal for the production of fine wine in common...

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