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Commander Simon van der Stel of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) arrived at the Cape supply station in 1679. Estranged from his wife he arrived in the company of his children and sister-in-law, Cornelia Six. Back in the Netherlands van der Stel had gained a solid background in viticulture at his vineyards in Muiderbergh. There he learnt the art of wine and brandy making which he was soon to implement here in the Cape.