The Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society plans to plant vines at the Rhodes Cottage that are direct descendants of the brown hanepoot vines sent to then Rhodesia by Cecil John Rhodes more than a century ago.
According to the society’s chairman, Chris Taylor, Mr Rhodes sent several young vines to start a wine industry in the Inyanga district of the country that bore his name until 1980, when it became Zimbabwe. One of the vines was planted at Government House in Salisbury, now Harare, and it flourished.
Mr Taylor said that upon retirement from government service after the elections in Zimbabwe in 1980, a government official made some cuttings from the Government House vine and took them to Hillcrest outside Durban where they grew well.
Last year, he offered cuttings of these vines to his friend and Fish Hoek resident, Lewis Walter, formerly also of Rhodesia.
Mr Walter planted the vines and they thrived and he offered some of these cuttings to the society.
“The Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society has been distributing cuttings to members and intends growing a vine also at Rhodes Cottage,” Mr Taylor said.