The natural beauty of the Jonkershoek valley is breathtaking with striking mountain ranges flanking the valley and the Eerste River running through it.
It is an acclaimed vineyard- growing region with many award-winning wine farms located in the valley or sourcing grapes from the area. The valley was named after the German farmer Jan de Jonker (Johan Andriessen) who owned a farm at the top of the valley in the present Jonkershoek Nature Reserve.
The farm Klein Gustrouw is at the entrance of the Jonkershoek Valley. Klein Gustrouw (then called Leef-op-Hoop) was granted to the freed slave Anthony of Angola by Governer Simon van der Stel in 1683. He was an ambitious farmer and is remembered for his successes in vineyard farming, pioneering the first vineyards planted on Klein Gustrouw and increasing his vine stocks from 600 in 1688 to 4000 in 1692! After Anthony van Angola’s death, Isaac Schrywer purchased the farm in 1696. Isaac and his wife Anna Hoeks proceeded to purchase almost all the farming land in the Jonkershoek Valley while residing at Schoongezicht, present day Lanzerac. For more than a hundred years it was in the family estate of the Schrywers and their descendants. Klein Gustrouw was sold out of the family estate in 1817 to PJ Grundlingh by CJ Albertyn a descendant of Anna Hesselaar, a daughter of Anna Hoeks.
The H-shaped Cape Dutch house on the farm was built by PJ Grundlingh in 1817. This house was declared a national monument for its historic value in 1991. Grundlingh sold the property in 1836 to Dutch farmer MJ van Nult Onkruydt. Onkruydt named the farm Klein Gustrouw, after the town in Rostock Germany, Güstrow, where his ancestors were from before they emigrated from Germany to Holland. Onkruydt upgraded and beautified the original homestead, adding rounded bay-fronted ‘stoepkamers’, French windows and a detailed Georgian front door. Some believe these changes that Onkruydt made to the house were inspired by architecture of the castle in Güstrow with its high walls and H-shaped supporting structure flowing into circular towers. Onkruydt added more portions to his farm and during the period 1836 – 1841, Klein Gustrouw was one of the largest farms in the Jonkershoek valley. Onkruydt also owned a wheat farm located in Hottentots Holland that he named Gustrouw. Onkruydt married Gertruida Nielen, the daughter of German surgeon, JC Nielen from Emmerik Germany. They were not able to have any children, but adopted a son from Getruida’s suster Petronella. Petronella was married to CG Marais from neighbouring farm Old Nektar. This adopted son was named Mynhardus Onkruid Marais, he had two sons who farmed together on Klein Gustrouw. Whether by family rift or close family ties, the farm was divided in 1911, resulting in a split that runs right through the centre of the homestead, with two brother farming on either side. The Georgian front door was on Klein Gustrouw’s side, therefore forming an integral part of our wine label today. The eastern farm was renamed to the original name: Leef-op-Hoop, which remains today still in the hands of the descendants of Mynhardus Onkruid Marais. Klein Gustrouw was sold out of the Marais family in the early 20th century.
Jonkershoek Valley is a popular area among students and residents of Stellenbosch to enjoy the nature and outdoor exercise. During the 1960’s and 70’s, the lawn and dam of Klein Gustrouw became a popular picnic spot for students and couples to enjoy themselves freely.
In 1987 Chris and Athalie McDonald purchased Klein Gustrouw with a dream of wine making. In 1993, the first vintage of McDonald’s award winning Klein Gustrouw Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot was released.
Twenty years later the farm was sold to Stellenbosch businessman, Jannie Mouton where he and his wife Deidré now live. The historical house dating back to 1817 was carefully restored and a new, modern wing was added. Mouton has a real passion for Afrikaans literature and the historical house contains a library with one of the largest collections of Afrikaans literature in the country. In 2008 all the vineyards required replanting, a process that two years. The farm has 14 hectares under vineyard with 11 different varietals. Klein Gustrouw currently produces two wines, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Reserve red blend, with grapes being sourced from the farm and the wider Jonkershoek valley.