The estate known as Delta was first planted to vines in the 17th century, but it was only in 2001 that it began to redress the painful history upon which the SA wine industry was built. This was done through the granting of a substantial shareholding to historically disadvantaged tenant-workers on the estate, and the establishment of a museum which provides visitors with an authentic experience that does not gloss over the facts. It explores our history from all points of view, with special emphasis on the personal experiences of dispossessed Khoe-San, pioneer settlers, slaves, and the current resident labourers — who remember only too well what it meant to be a farm-worker in the apartheid years – but also our hopes for the future.
Solms-Delta wines are classical blends with a difference. The Solms-Wijn de Caab range, released in 2005, consists entirely of Rhône varietals. Two of the Wines in this range have components made by the ancient method of ‘desiccation’ on the vine. The Solms-Hegewisch range, released in 2006, is made entirely from desiccated grapes. These are intense, concentrated wines. The lighter Solms–Astor range, consisting of unusual Cape blends, will be released in 2008. Visitors to the Solms-Delta estate are treated to free personalised tours of the Later Stone-Age archaeological site, the exposed foundations of the 17th century homestead and various other colonial structures, several historical buildings in various stages of restoration, a magical forest of rare camphors, yellowwoods and oaks (including a 300-year-old National Champion Tree), and walks along a trout-rich river and pond, against a backdrop of the majestic Drakenstein mountains.