ABOUT OUR FAMILY

Although our story dates back to 1880 when the first brandy was crafted at Boplaas by Daniel Nel, for export to London, it is only since 1980 that Boplaas in its current form came into existence. Being a born entrepreneur, Carel Nel’s first business venture was buying old broken antique furniture, getting it restored and re-selling it. After finishing is BSc studies in winemaking, he joined his father on the farm. Always on the lookout for budding opportunities, he soon started a fruit drying, fruit preserve and jam business and over time used the profits to build a cellar on the farm.

The success of the Boplaas vrugtehappies (dried fruit titbits) and other dried fruits allowed us to follow our true passion of crafting fine wines in the Klein Karoo. The foundation stone of the new cellar was laid on 1981 with the first Boplaas Estate wines released in 1982. Our very first SA Champion Port was crafted in 1986 and was awarded this coveted title at the National Young Wine Show.

Towards the end of the 80’s we established the first vineyards at Ruiterbosch in the Outeniqua Mountains, the first cool climate site in the Southern Cape. This allowed us to produce Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Méthode Cap Classique (traditional bottle fermented sparkling wine).

In 1992 the Guida ai vini del Mondo, published by the Slow Food Foundation, named the Boplaas Vintage Port 1989 as one of the Top 150 wines in the world – a list including legendary wines such as the Chatêaux Margaux 1989, Chatêau Pétrus 1989 and Vega Sicilia Unico 1982.

In 1989 we were the first cellar to obtain a distillation license, much to the pleasure of my father, Danie, and we could fire up the old copper pot still and continue the fine heritage of distillation that started way back in 1880. The result was South Africa’s first Estate Pot Still 5 Year Old Brandy, which was released in 1994.

Beside the multiple SA Champion Ports* and numerous awards for fortified wines, Boplaas was also awarded back-to- back the title as SA Champion Sauvignon Blanc, in 2009 and 2010 at the National Young Wine Show – a truly rare feat. Our table wines are also regularly listed among the top performers in local wine competitions.

Recently our focus has shifted to explore the potential of the Portuguese varieties, which we use in the crafting of our Cape fortifieds, to produce fine table wines. To this end we’ve planted Verdelho and re-established sites of Souzã, Tinta Barocca and Touriga Naçional, while all the while scouring the Cape for old vine sites to supplement our own fruit. Though we’re changing course a little, our foundation still remains the same, namely to craft the best wine possible.

The family farming legacy continues at Boplaas, with both my daughters involved in the enterprise and with many longstanding employees’ children working alongside them. Without the sterling efforts of all involved in the vineyard and cellar, our story would be a short one indeed and it is their task to write the next chapter in our journey.

*SA Champion Port Trophy Winner at the SA National Young Wine Show – 1986, 1987, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2015 & 2016.

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OUR TEAM

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Carel Nel
Proprietor / Cellar Master
Tirelessly working at his prowess in the digital age by mastering computer skills, he is at the helm of every aspect of the business. Generating new ideas, selling it to his daughters and then getting them to execute it is his forté.
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Jeanne Nel
Proprietor / Manager
Involved in the finances and credited for keeping the family grounded and providing moral support to all. With a strong left brain equanimity, she is the indisputable power behind the throne.
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Margaux Nel
Proprietor / Wine Maker
Strong-willed and talented winemaker that can handle all things that come her way. Passionate about the Portuguese varieties as table wines and expanding the range of quality wines.
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Rozanne Nel
Proprietor / Marketing Manager/ Exports
The social bee of the Boplaas business heads the marketing and sales team, making sure that every opportunity to promote the brand or exploit new opportunities in the market is ‘pollinated’.
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Ellenore Cronje
Financial Manager
Can easily be called the chief whip of Boplaas, for keeping everybody on the straight and narrow by keeping a tight reign on the finances.
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Annarie Cornelius
Administrative assistant
All-round assistant to all and the proverbial extra hand wherever and whenever needed.
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Thea Meyer
Tasting Room Manager
All-round assistant to all and the proverbial extra hand wherever and whenever needed.
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Joanie Calitz
Southern Cape/ Eastern Cape Sales Manager
All-round assistant to all and the proverbial extra hand wherever and whenever needed.
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Erich Coetzee
EC Wines Sales & Distribution
All-round assistant to all and the proverbial extra hand wherever and whenever needed.
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Zelda Botha
Warehouse Manager
Making sure that the warehouse runs on oiled wheels, as there is always a pressing new deadline just around the corner.
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Magda van der Berg
Switchboard & Telesales
The friendly voice on the other side of the Boplaas telephone line that callers came to know over many years.
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Mietsie Meshoa
Financial Administrative Assistant
The extra pair of able eyes and hands to help ensure that stock and numbers balance.
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Fransien Claassen
Packing Expert
Always happy to carefully pack the orders of clients visiting the Boplaas tasting room, as well as those of all private clients.

OUR HISTORY

1688

First French Huguenots arrive in the Cape of Good Hope.

1690

Guillaume Nel (Neel) purchases Blaauwklippen farm in Stellenbosch district.

1880

Nel family produces brandy for export to England in Calitzdorp.

1970s

Brilliant accident. Danie Nel plants ‘Shiraz’, without realising that it was actually Tinta Barocca.

1980

Carel Nel joins the business and builds the current cellar at Boplaas in Calitzdorp.

1982

First Boplaas Tinta Barocca table wine is bottled at Boplaas.

1986

Winning the first SA Champion Port Trophy at the SA Young Wine Show.

1989

Boplaas is the first estate in South Africa to receive a distilling license.

1994

The first Boplaas 5 Year Old Potstill Brandy is released. This excellent brandy was served at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

2004

Rozanne Nel (daughter) joins the family business in a marketing capacity.

2005

Boplaas is awarded the title as the top-performing cellar at the Veritas awards.

2007

Daughter, Margaux Nel, joins the family business as winemaker.

2009, 2011, 2013

Boplaas is awarded the title as the best private cellar at the Veritas awards.

2017
2017

Daniel Nel joins Boplaas Wines.