HISTORY OF NAFTALI ESTATES
NAFTALI ESTATES, which comprises the farms Naftali,
Monte and Summerdown and which are now part of Rekopane
Estates, has a proud history in table grape production
in South Africa’s Orange River region.
Naftali Estates was started by the Bezuidenhout family,
one of South Africa’s best known seedless grape
growers. It is located on the banks of the mighty
Orange River near Kanoneiland, west of Upington in
South Africa’s Northern Cape.
Naftali is a Biblical Name meaning that “I have
fought and I have concurred”. This very much
represents the pioneering spirit which Peu Bezuidenhout,
his family and staff has shown in the development
of the farm.
The first 6 hectares of land was bought in 1979 and
used to cultivate rotational crops. When it was realized
that the extreme temperatures between winter and summer,
the fertile soil and a steady supply of water from
the Orange River represent all the ingredients for
the production of high quality table grapes, Naftali
embarked on a new venture.
Now, some 30 years later, the sweet and juicy grapes
from this region have become the benchmark for producers
elsewhere in the world. Naftali and growers in its
surrounding district are now South Africa’s
leading grape exporters.
Monte Estate was sold in February 2007 to further
establish plantations for greater production of earlier
And this fine tradition of fighting and conquering
finally led to the birth of Rekopane Estates which
opens up a new chapter in fruit growing in the region.
Rekopane Estates was built by the entrepreneurship
of people who shared a common goal. Training, skills
transfer and management has given people new hope
is demonstrated by the fact that Ms Wilmien Draaier
has qualified to manage the guest house at Rekopane,
and Ms Eveline Mealangwe manages the production of roses
in a tunnel. The farm shop is managed by Ms Clara de
Wee and Ms Angeline Prins.
Rekopane also invested in planting 8h of citrus (Star
Ruby Grapefruit) in 2006 and had an exceptionally good
first harvest in 2009. Rekopane will be developing a
further 52h of citrus in the next coming years which
will include grapefuit and seedless lemons.
investment in people extended to social, cultural and
health enrichment in the wider farm community and the
local school and church have always received strong
support from the Bezuidenhout family.
entrepenieurial spirit of Peu Bezuidenhout which helped
built Naftali Estates from small beginnings is always
seeking out new peaks to conquer. The establishment
of a highly succesful fruit growing business which has
proved its sustainability during tough economic conditions
has been achieved through always being the best –
the best soils and cultivars, the best farming practices,
the best packaging and marketing, and, finally, the
best in people. The birth of Rekopane as a true ownership
partnership between grower and workers which is founded
in the proud example set by all those who contributed
to the development of Naftali Estates.