Our story started in 1688
Vrede en Lust was found in 1688 by a Flemish Merchant called Jacques De Savoye. The Governor of the Cape allocated his farm to De Savoye, who fled Europe with his wife, Marie-Madeleine le Clerq, due to religious persecution. After 70 days on sea, they arrived in Table Bay on 26 April 1688 with the 160-feet Oosterland.
The scene shifts to the Drakenstein, sparsely populated with only 23 Dutch freeburgers having settled there before. The valley is majestically beautiful, though quite rugged, with dense forests, game, lion and leopard, and the only human inhabitants, some nomadic Khoi. The pioneers lived in simple clay and reed homes. This is where De Savoye became the owner of a magnificent piece of land against the foothills of the Napoleonsberg (today known as the Simonsberg).
The area of Simondium is named after Reverend Pierre Simond who established the first church in the area. The left wing of LUST Bistro & Bakery is the original building of Simond’s first house. It is believed that the first Sunday trading in the Cape colony took place at Vrede en Lust due to the first protestant church which was built on the estate.
The original deed of Vrede en Lust was issued in April 1694 by the Hon. Governor and Councillors J.G. De Grevenbroek. Secretary in the Castle of Good Hope. He was given full power and authority to plow, sow, cultivate, afforestate, to possess in full ownership, to administer and thereafter should he so desire to sell the said land, to hire it out or alienate it in any matter whatsoever, in accordance with such laws as may be in force in this Government.
He called his farm Vrede en Lust (Peace and Delight/Eagerness), nurturing visions of a rural paradise where he could spend his last days. He immediately started improving the 55 Ha of land that starts at the Bergrivier valley floor and runs up the eastern foothills of the majestic Simonsberg Mountain. By 1692, De Savoye was running a successful mixed farm enterprise. Bar-one, he produces the most wheat and barley of all burghers. By that time he owned 4 horses, 30 cattle, slaves and 10 000 vines. This grew to 80 000 by 1780.
Since the de Savoye reign, Vrede en Lust has changed hands a number of times. This includes ownership by Willem van Zyl, the first owner who in essence was a farmer. The Drakenstein community regarded him as extremely successful. The fourth generation was the De Villiers brothers, who were among the few Huguenots who actually had practical experience in viticulture. In 1996, when the Buys family became the 17thowners, they embarked on a program of renewal to fully realise the exceptional winemaking potential of the land.