75 Years of Fond Wine Memories
Douglas Green Wines, one of South Africa’s oldest and most beloved wine brands, is celebrating 75 years at the forefront of South African wine. Founder Douglas Green was a pioneer of the local industry. He started his iconic wine business in the Boland town of Paarl in 1942, paving the way for the classic yet contemporary wine brand as we know it today – an enduring favourite in legions of local households.
The Douglas Green family winemaking legacy has its roots in Cape Town dating back to 1842. Following in the footsteps of his forefathers, Douglas Green Snr had a passion for making exceptional wines. After studying at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute in Stellenbosch, he performed military service in World War I and later continued his studies in France and Algeria. Upon his return to the Cape, Douglas embarked on an extraordinary winemaking journey.
Douglas Green was a visionary, truly exceptional vintner, as wells as an entrepreneur. He started his company at a time when necessities such as fuel, transport, bottles, corks, and wine machinery were in short supply due to wartime austerity measures. Even paper was hard to come by and labels had to be reduced to stamp-sized scraps. Even in the face of these significant obstacles, he knew that South African consumers were thirsty for experience than the time.
He used his deep-rooted knowledge of the Winelands and ties with local farmers to source and vinify the best grapes from the respective wine regions – a revolutionary concept at the time. His wines reflected the best qualities and characteristics of each grape variety and region, and he offered it to a loyal, ever-growing base of consumers. He quickly earned a reputation for delivering consistent quality at an affordable price. This would prove one of the main reasons why Douglas Green Wines grew to become a well-loved mainstay for many generations of South African families.
His son, Douglas Green Jnr, first gained his work experience within the broader wine industry for a number of years before joining the family business. He has many fond memories and entertaining stories of working alongside his father in the winery.
Times have certainly changed since those trailblazing early days of the wine business, and today Douglas Green’s winemaking and viticulture teams use leading edge technology to ensure that the standard of the wines continues to exceed consumers’ expectations. What hasn’t changed however, is the winery’s close relationships with its supplier grape growers. These long-standing partnerships ensure that Douglas Green wines still reflect the same sense of place a better wine-drinking they were offered at its founding father envisaged, and also contribute to the family feel that has become such an important hallmark of the brand.
Douglas Green wines are consistently recognised for their excellence. The Douglas Green Chardonnay 2017 has expanded on the success of its coveted Chardonnay du Monde 2016 award by taking home a rare double-gold accolade at the recent Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards.
The Douglas Green range consists of a number of excellent varietal white, red, rosé, and blend wines – the founder was known as a master blender – and lately the team has gone to Spain to source an award-winning line-up of Sherries. These elegant dessert wines are made in the traditional home of Sherry, namely JerezXérèz in Spain, made and matured using the age-old Solera method.
Decades after the original Douglas Green launched his famous winery, his affinity for the vineyards, technical winemaking skill, and uncanny understanding of customers’ desires continue to be the foundation on which the brand is built. It remains an authentic South African success story that resonates with local wine lovers.
For more information, visit www.dgb.co.za. Text & Images © Douglas Green Wines