One cannot mention La Bri without referring to the past, as the property forms an essential part of the South African wine history and culture. The original grant of La Bri is one of the oldest Huguenot-allocated farms in the Franschhoek Valley. The farm is situated in the valley previously known as Olifantshoek.
The name La Bri is probably derived from outlying town of Brie which was the stomping grounds of the de Villiers family in the early 13th century. L’ Abri is also French for “the refuge or Haven”, a perfect name for this property, as it is safely nestled in the imposing amphitheatre of the Franschhoek valley.
The farm of approximately 50 ha was originally granted to Jacques (Jacob) de Villiers in October 1694, but the farm boundaries were only mapped in 1712. Jacques became a very successful farmer and bought Boschendal from his brother Abraham’s estate in 1717. He lived on Boschendal till his death in 1735.
At this time the Deed for La Bri was transferred to Pieter Roux who then sold the farm to Ignatius Marais in February 1760.
The farm was bought by Pieter Eduard Haumann in 1774 and remained in the family until 1894. During this time the original freehold grant of 1712 was subdivided and an additional piece of land known as “Keurvlei” was purchased. The La Bri manor house is thought to have been built on this land by Pieter Eduard Jr between 1813 and 1862. The house as it currently stands has a large gable with straight sides, typical of the last phases of Cape Dutch architecture.
Ownership then passed through the Roux, Hugo, Eksteen and Trull families before being bought by Robin Hamilton in 1997.
Today La Bri is a vibrant boutique winery and a visit to Franschhoek won’t be complete without a stopover at La Bri.
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La Bri Estate | Excelsior Road | Franschhoek | 7690 | South Africa