Jacobsdal, Free State

Anglo-Boer War memories at Jacobsdal.
Jacobsdal, the village at the western extreme of the Free State’s Horizon Route, has the first wine cellar ever to be built outside of the Western Cape, South Africa’s traditional wine region.

It’s a small farming community that was once the intense focus of some major Anglo-Boer War activity. Between Jacobsdal and Kimberley lies the site of the battle of Magersfontein, where the British forces suffered severe losses. At Klipstapel is a cairn of stones erected by Jacobsdal Boers before leaving for the Battle of Graspan in November 1899.

These days, in the midst of all these memories of battle and colonial strife, is the entirely more pleasant prospect of Jacobsdal’s wine industry.

Landzicht Winery takes in the grapes of more than 45 producers around the town, presses 2 800 tonnes of grapes and makes 220 000 litres of wine each year. Their semi-sweets, muscadels and merlots are especially popular, and they regularly win international awards.

Even the winery, however, has an Anglo-Boer War connection. It has produced a special wine “edition” with the battles and generals printed on the labels.

As a recent arrival to Jacobsdal said:

“Here is big space, clean air – a place to give your soul a rest…”

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