Stellenbosch holds the honour of being the most well-known town in South Africa. History, culture, natural beauty, sport, education and wine has made the name 'Stellenbosch' resonate around the globe as one of South Africa's premier tourist, wine, business and education attractions.
The recorded history of Stellenbosch dates back to 1679 when this name was given to a small island on the Eerste River by Simon van der Stel, the then governor of the Cape. It can, however, be assumed that prior to its official naming, the Stellenbosch surrounds were home to various indigenous communities.
The Eerste River, which today still ripples through Stellenbosch, was so named as this happened to be the First ('Eerste') river the Dutch settlers came upon after leaving their Cape Town base.
After its discovery, Stellenbosch was quickly identified as an area in which to settle, with great potential for agriculture. The surrounding areas proved rich in soil and correct climate for producing vegetables to sustain the ships passing by the Cape of Good Hope en route to the other Dutch colonies in the East. Add to this the thirst of the Dutch and other settlers that necessitated the making good wine, Stellenbosch soon saw its hills and valleys also planted to vines along with other agricultural crops.