Founder Charles Marais who fled his home in France, set sail with his family in 1687 and settled in the Groot Drakenstein Valley. In 1693 the Cape Governor, Simon van der Stel, granted him land, which he named after his home town, Le Plessis Marly. Today the farm is known as Plaisir de Merle which translates from the French to ‘Pleasure of the Blackbird’.

Charles Marais was one of only a handful of Frenchmen who had experience in winemaking when he arrived at the Cape and his vinous legacy lives on in Plaisir de Merle’s winemaking tradition.

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niel bester in the vineyards

Niel Bester has been crafting Plaisir de Merle’s wines since 1993 and his passion for winemaking is evident in each bottle. He cherishes the richness offered from the extraordinary terroir and from the cellar produces wines that are elegant and complex, honouring the legacy of winemaking at the estate.

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Our Terroir

Along the rolling foothills of the majestic Simonsberg Mountains our vineyards thrive. The diverse terroir creates an interchange in climatic conditions allowing for wet winters and moderate summers and together with the fertile soil, preserve the ideal conditions for growing memorable noble cultivars with structure, finesse and complexity.

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