Our History


First French Huguenots arrived in the Cape of Good Hope.


First farm in Calitzdorp established, called Buffelsvallei.


Nel family buys farm in Calitzdorp region and produces brandy for export to England.  Barrels were transported by ox-wagon from Calitzdorp to Worcestor, by train to Cape Town harbor and by ship to England.  


The Kooperatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging (KWV) assumed statutory control of all wine and brandy production in South Africa, via the Wine & Spirits Control Act of 1924. 


Nel family potstill lies dormant for almost 70 years, after the prohibition on private distillation by KWV.  


Fourth generation Nel, Danie, planted Tinta Barocca vines thinking they were Shiraz.  Brilliant accident emerged which changed the history of Boplaas.


Fifth generation Nel, Carel, joins the business after completing his BSc degree at the University of Stellenbosch.  He builds the current cellar at Boplaas.


First Boplaas Tinta Barocca table wine is bottled at Boplaas.  Realising that the Portuguese varieties thrive in the Calitzdorp terroir like that of the Douro Valley in Portugal.


Boplaas wins the first SA Champion Port Trophy at the SA Young Wine Show, a title it has consistently held onto over the years.  


Carel Nel becomes a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild. 


Legislation for distilling changes and Boplaas is the first estate in South Africa to receive a distilling license again.  In 1994 Boplaas 5 Year Potstill Brandy is released and served at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.  


Carel Nel qualifies as a Cape Wine Master.


The sixth generation of the Nel family joins the business with daughter Rozanne taking on Marketing. She is followed in 2007 by her sister, Margaux, who joins as Winemaker, and in 2017, by brother Daniel, as Distiller and Marketer.


The Veritas Wine and Spirit Awards crown Boplaas as its top performer of the year. Boplaas is subsequently awarded the title as the show’s best private cellar in 2009, 2011 and 2013.


Boplaas Single Grain 6YO Whisky (Tawny Port cask finish) wins the title of Best SA Whisky at Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.


Boplaas is named best SA Producer at Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.


Carel Nel received “Living legend award” at Veritas for his contribution to the South African wine industry.

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