In the local Koikoi language, Neuras means the "place of abandoned water".

Neuras owes its early existence as a farm to the presence of several crystal clear cold-water springs and dates back to 1894. The farm extends southwards from the top of the majestic Naukluft Mountains and is typical of the pro-Namib geological and natural environment. 

Ancient canyons with huge banks of stromatolytes, fascinating geological formations including the 548 million year old Namacolathus fossils provide marvelous opportunities for nature hikes. 

In 1984, a decade after the country became a German protectorate, a gardener Ernst Herman, grew vegetables and cereals here to feed the Schutztruppe. Herman bought the farm from the German colonial gemeinschaft, after bagainig with the government he got his initial purchase price from 2 DM down to 1.5 DM. According to word of mouth the same Ernst Herman was murdered by Henrik Witbooi, the NAMA leader. Neuras was then inherited by his son, Felix Herman, who eventually through clever mathematical methods worked out that the farm was in fact not 15,000 hectares but 14,400 hectares, and so like his father received a further discount from the government. According to history a Mr Lanserat owned the farm from 1942 and eventually divided the farm into two pieces, which he gave to his two daughters. 

In 1998 Allan and Sylvia Walkden Davies (pictured right) bought the farm from one of the daughters, Irene Jacobie. They were intrigued by the old vines they found on the farm. Allan had wine-making aspirations and made contact with renowned South African winemaker Abrie Bruwer from the Springfield Estate, who then offered to help them with the wine making. They planted some Shiraz and Merlot vines and produced their first wines in 2001.

In 1998 Allan and Sylvia with the help of friends like Abrie Bruwer and Jaco van der Merwe built Neuras into a mythical winery, and it became known as the "World's Driest Vineyard" after the UK's Telegraph Newspaper featured article on Neuras in October 2008. Not only did Allan and Sylvia rehabilitate the vines and gardens, they also started conserving the fauna and flora of Neuras which had been taken over by invader bush due being overgrazed by hundreds of Karakoel sheep.

In 2009 Rudie and Marlice van Vurren with their partners Chris Heunis, Jannes Brandt and Jan Verburg started looking for a piece of land in the South west of Namibia. Their successful reintroduction of cheetah, leopard and brown hyena into the arid Namib convinced them that this region could eventually become a model for conservation that would fit N/a'an ku se's unique conservation vision. 

After looking at many pieces of land they eventually met Allan and Sylvia at Neuras and immediately knew this was the place to invest in. Early in 2012 the sale of the farm went through and the N/a'an ku se Foundation is now the proud owners of Neuras and hopes to build on the hard work of Allan and Sylvia, who remain in support of what Neuras has become renowned for and stands for, making quality wine while conserving the land and wildlife.

No comments:

Post a Comment