Museum van de Caab, Solms Delta Wine Estate, Franschhoek
The Solms Delta Wine Estate has created an excellent, well respected small museum that is unique in the interactive way the audience participates in the valley history. The estate, known as Delta, was first planted to vines in the 17th century, but the display starts with artefacts from the Stone Age inhabitants of the area and continues through the San and Khoekhoen groups. These groups are shown to be very different from each other, each with their own culture, tradition and beliefs for thousands of years.
From the time that the colonists inhabited the farm, the painful history of slavery and colonialism is tracked with interactive singing, personal experiences and recordings of the people involved – from the Koi-San to the descendants of slavery and colonial discrimination. The modern day labourers share with us not only what it meant to be a farm-worker in the apartheid years – but also their hopes for the future.
In 2001 the Solms Delta Wine Estate began to redress the painful history of wine industry by 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.
However, the story of Delta farm cannot stand on its own. Its significance lies in its relationship to greater events and historical processes that shaped the human fabric of the Drakenstein Valley, and on a broader scale, South African society as a whole.
This Museum is aimed at everyone – those who visit for entertainment purposes as part of a tourist activity, those who utilise the space for research and educational purposes (both child and adult learning will be targeted), as well as those who see it as a vehicle for studying their family and community history or identity.
The museum is open seven days a week. Sunday and Monday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Admission and a museum tour is free of charge. Contact Solms-Delta on 021 874 3937 or email.
From Cape Town via the N1: On the N1 freeway, turn off at the Paarl/Franschhoek Exit 55, turn right and follow the R45 signs towards Franschhoek. Pass the R310 turn-off to Stellenbosch on the right. About 1km further, turn left into Delta Road, you will see the Solms-Delta logo on white walls.
From Cape Town via the N2 (and Stellenbosch): On the N2 freeway, turn off at the Baden Powell Drive exit and follow the Stellenbosch signs all the way into town. Continue on the same road through Stellenbosch and look out for the turn-off (to the right) to Franschhoek via the Helshoogte Pass (R310). Continue over the pass and through Pniel to the T Junction with the R45. Turn right towards Franschhoek and 1km along that road, turn left info Delta Road, you will see the Solms-Delta logo on white walls.
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