History

INTRODUCTION | HISTORY | OVERVIEW

STEENBERG GOLF ESTATE

“STEENBERG” was here even before Simon van der Stel built his great house in the heart of the valley, giving it the name of “CONSTANTIA”. Steenberg, mountain of stone, has a romantic ring, but the original name was even more beautiful still, for it was called “SWAANEWEIDE”, the feeding place of swans. Catharina Ustings was the original owner (without a title deed at that time), she was one of the most daring and controversial figures ever to settle in the Cape. Life was not easy when she arrived, only 10 years after Jan van Riebeeck. The year 1662 was far from being the age of any rights for women, yet this indomitable widow of just twenty-two had boarded a sailing ship and made the perilous journey to the furthest tip of Africa.

Catherina soon found herself a second husband by the name of Hans Ras, not a particularly eligible catch, but he did own a house bought from Jakob Kluten, founder of the famous Cloete family, whose name would dominate Constantia for two hundred years or more.

Hans came to an unfortunate end, he was attacked and eaten by a lion some years later. Legend has it that Catherina immediately leaped onto her horse and tracked the lion down, killing it herself.

Fate had a good deal more in store for Catherina, who after taking a fifth husband saw that it was obvious that marriage was not going to bring her any security. She then took matters into her own hands and approached Simon van der Stel, asking him for twenty five morgen of land at the foot of the Steenberg mountains. It was 1682 when she and then husband Matthys Michelse built the first Constantia homestead.
When Simon van der Stel saw how well Catherina’s wine farming was developing he decided to occupy the land next door to her, and also start farming. She recognized that without a legal title deed he could just as easily regard “SWAANEWEIDE” as his own, so she then decided it would be a good idea to become very friendly with him, once she had achieved that goal she approached him for a legal title deed. In 1688 a mandate was granted to Catherina.

The farm was finally bought by JOHNNIC PROPERTIES, who completely restored the historic werf area of the farm. The Manor House has been declared a National Monument and is currently being operated as a luxury hotel. The main gable on the Manor House is the only surviving example of it’s kind in the Cape Peninsular. JOHNNIC built a new winery and started producing a range of exclusive high quality white and red wines to compete in the higher priced sector of the market.

The section which has been registered for the development of the golf estate is some 40 hectares . The design philosophy behind the building guidelines has been to make the homes a harmonious part of the 18 hole golf course and to afford each home a maximum share of the Capes lovely mountain and fairway views. The estate provides a secure and private environment for the residents and they have the added benefit of easy of access to the restaurant, the winery for wine tasting and the hotel, as well as to the other facilities of the wine farm.
STEENBERG has a very special attraction, now one of the finest golf courses in the Cape Town area, it’s just 20 minutes drive from the center of the city, a vineyard which is producing superb wines, and to top it all a National Monument at the very heart of the estate.


All this on one Estate ! Can you really ask for more ?