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The Dutch doctor and merchant Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) founded Cape Town in 1652 and planted the first vines brought from Europe at the foot of Table Mountain near the present legislative capital in 1655. The first recorded vintage was a 1659 with 15 litres of Muscat wine. From the end of the 17th century onwards, it was 200 Huguenots expelled from their French homeland - the name of today's wine-growing region Franschhoek (French Corner) commemorates them - as well as German and Dutch winegrowers who further developed South African viticulture. Their descendants still play an important role today. The Dutch governor Simon van der Stel (1639-1712), who was appointed in 1679, founded the town of Stellenbosch and in 1685 established the famous Constantia vineyard, from which one of the world's legendary sweet wines called "Vin de Constance" was produced for the European ruling courts at that time. In the 17th century, large quantities of port and sherry style wines as well as brandy were exported to England. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Dutch governors successfully promoted viticulture. In 1885, phylloxera also reached South Africa and caused devastating damage.

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