The Frater Family arrived in South Africa from the lowlands of Scotland in 1878. Having arrived too late for the Gold and Diamond rushes, they settled on De Zoete Inval Estate in the Paarl Valley.
The farm was originally granted by Simon van der Stel (Governor of the Cape) to Hercule des Pres (Hercule of the Meadows), making it one of the historic treasures of South Africa. The Fraters purchased the farm for its good quality ‘’soft’’ water, which was perfectly suited to the washing of wool.
Building The Winery
As time passed they pioneered into successful fruit farming, and 115 years ago built the original wine cellar, which is still in use today.
New Sorts in the Vineyards
5th generation winemaker John Robert Frater set about replanting some of the vineyards with the goal of producing clean, fruity wines with finesse and minerality. He produces what he calls ‘’REAL’’ wines. These are wines that taste like the earth that they originate from, and not like the over-extracted fruit bombs common in the market today. These vines are now old enough to realise their full potential and culminated in the new premium brand FRATER FAMILY WINES.
Pretty Vines Make Pretty Wines
Frater Family Wines is the epitome of family wine farming, and each of our wines are made in honour of a member of our family. Our red wines are still produced in open fermenters (oop kuipe), and allowed to ferment and age with minimal intervention. This ancient practise is widely regarded as the ideal fermentation method and although very labour intensive, the results vindicate the efforts. Sound winemaking principles are combined with artistry to produce new world wines with old world characteristics.