D’Aria’s agricultural roots go back over three centuries to the early years of wheat, sheep, wine and vegetable farming in the rural hamlet of Pampoenkraal after settlement of the Cape colony by the Dutch in the 1650s.
The property, in what was renamed D’Urban after Cape governor Benjamin D’Urban in 1836 and eventually became Durbanville, comprises two historic farms: Doordekraal and Springfield.
The land on Doordekraal was first granted in 1698 to hardy Dutchwoman Tryntjie Verwey (née Theunisse), mother of three, widowed shortly after immigrating to the Cape. Through her son Dirk, she was the progenitor of the Verwey family in South Africa.
Tryntjie’s farming success earned her the epithet De Boerin (The Lady Farmer). A daughter, Alida, subsequently married Ocker Cornelisz Olivier who farmed nearby Hoogebergsvallei (later renamed Springfield). Daughter, like mother, continued farming after being widowed at a young age.
Almost exactly three centuries later – in 1998/1999 – Barinor Holdings, a local property investment and development company, borne of a humble railway workers’ benefit fund in 1886, bought the two feisty Verwey women’s farms and amalgamated them as D’Aria Vineyards.
The company recognises and honours the Verwey women’s heritage of hard work and farming passion. The sense of family and local community continues to pervade the company’s business philosophy. It is committed to its public shareholders and equal Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partners in D’Aria, the Durbanville Workers’ Association.
Viticulturist Johan von Waltsleben was a founder board member of Barinor. Son Rudi von Waltsleben is the winemaker, coming to his craft via a law degree.