Bellevue Wine Estate, in the prestigious Stellenbosch wine growing region in South Africa, cultivates approximately 152ha of vineyards. It boasts with an original Cape Dutch homestead built in 1803. After careful restoration in 1990, the house has been declared a National Monument. Recently a state of the art tasting room and restaurant has been furnished inside one of the historical wings of the cellar.
Dirkie Morkel is the viticulturist. Bellevue Wine Estate has been owned by the Morkel family since 1861. The first Morkel to set foot in South Africa, was Philip Morkel from German decent. He arrived in Cape Town en route to the Netherlands from the East while the ship was set out to anchor in Cape Town harbour for some time. During that time, he married a South African woman within 3 months, and after a last voyage he returned to the Cape for good. He became a “Free Burger” (given citizenship) and thus ensured the lineage of Morkels in South Africa.
Dirk Cloete Morkel, a decendant of Philip Morkel purchased Bellevue Wine Estate in 1861 primarily for livestock, and also planted a few vines. It was PK Morkel, grandson of Dirk Morkel who did ground breaking work in terms of establishing vines for wine production and was the pioneer in the conversion of Bellevue to a Wine Estate. The Morkels, especially under the leadership of current Dirkie Morkel, have developed the old farm into a state of the art wine farm with a large production cellar, a large variety of noble cultivars, award winning wines, heritage site and tourist attraction.