Founded in 1692 as part of the famous Nooitgedacht farm, Kanu underwent various changes and an accumulation of history to become what it is today. As of 1997, the land and the wines became known as Kanu.
Bird of Promise
The name Kanu is from a legend told by an old Xhosa man who was raised in his grandmother’s house on the Goedgeloof farm.
Day after day, he would tell of the mythical bird he had seen flying over the farm. According to him, if the bird’s shadow touches your crop, you are promised a bountiful year’s harvest!
And, with the Kanu name comes the Kanu Promise: that each wine made by Kanu, no matter the price point, is made in such a way that it will always deliver on quality and flavour
The farm was bought by the Rhodes Trust, which was later known as Rhodes Fruit Farms Ltd. Rhodes wanted to prove that fruit farming could be on-par with wine farming in the Boland region of the Western Cape. This was the first period when a big Filloksera outbreak threatened the future of wine farming in South Africa. For this reason, Rhodes employed Mr. H.E.V. Pickstone, and Englishman who studied fruit farming in California, to select a number of good farms that were suitable for growing fruit.Nooitgedacht, together with Boschendal, Bien Donnè, Lekkerwyn and Vredenburg then became the property of Cecil John Rhodes. Rhodes chose Nooitgedacht as a home for himself.
Johan became Kanu’s winemaker in 2004 and then went on to become cellar master in 2010, after Kanu relocated to the former Mulderbosch property and cellar. Best known for his strive towards making wines that are true to themselves, Johan intervenes as little as possible.