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Proudly Family-Owned

Matroosberg Grapes, a family-owned table grape farm and business, is located in the heart of the Hex River Valley (De Doorns) in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Our farm comprises two units, Matroosberg and Lavalle, with a combined production area of approximately 50.6 hectares devoted to growing a diverse variety of table grapes.

Our goal is to extend the availability of table grapes for the international market. To achieve this, we carefully selected seven cultivars based on market and consumer demands, adaptability to the local climate, and storage capability.

Our cultivars are able to travel for two or three weeks by ship halfway around the world and still arrive in pristine condition, crisp and fresh.

Direct Exporters of High-Quality Table Grapes

Matroosberg Grapes took the leap to independence in 2023 by establishing our own Matroosberg brand for packing and exporting our high-quality table grapes directly to the market.

We are proud to work in partnership with Olympic Fruit, "Part of Something Good," to eliminate the intermediary link in the chain between the grower and the market.

This direct exporting approach enables us, as growers, to deliver our table grapes of exceptional quality directly to the market.

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From Matroosberg to Lavalle

The Matroosberg farm unit, covering an area of 28.39 hectares, is situated at the base of the Matroosberg mountain, from which it derives its name.

The Lavalle farm unit, covering an area of 22.21 hectares, is located 2.6 kilometers away from the Matroosberg farm unit, towards the middle of the valley. The name "Lavalle" is derived from the French word "vallée," meaning "valley.

Our Brand

We established our brand, Matroosberg, in 2010. Recently, we revamped the design and style of our exporting box and packaging to give it a modern and fresh look. The various elements on the box have special meanings and stories that are dear to us, highlighting our history and love for table grape farming.

Our brand name, Matroosberg, holds great importance to us as it represents one of our farm units situated at the base of the scenic Matroosberg mountain, which is the tallest mountain in the Cape Winelands District Municipality.

Matroosberg mountain in South Africa is named after a rock formation resembling a sailor next to his ship. “Matroos” means sailor and “berg” means mountain in Afrikaans, hence the name Matroosberg.

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Handle Bag

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Punnets

Polycote Bag

Our Packaging

The image of the Matroosberg mountain on the box portrays its natural beauty, with snow added to represent the winter season when the mountain peak is covered in snow, transforming the Hex River Valley into a magical winter wonderland.

The table grapes on the corners of the box serve as a clear indication of the product we grow and export, making it easy to identify in the market and stores.

We export table grapes in 4.5kg and Pannet boxes, using various packaging types such as Handle Bags, Polycote, and Punnets.

Modern Packhouse and Cooling Facility

Our fully modernised packhouse uses two offloading facilities and a precooling area to maintain freshness and prolong the shelf life of table grapes.

A modern wet wall with circulated water and industrial fans keeps the packing area at a regulated temperature of 20°C.

The inspector room ensures top-quality grapes for export, while an industrialized backup generator keeps grapes chilled during power outages.

Hexkoel serves as the main storage facility for temperature-controlled containers shipped to international markets from Cape Town harbour.

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Family Farming Legacy

Our family’s farming business was founded by Fanie Rossouw, our great-grandfather, who introduced the slogan “The mark of quality” and established the Explorer Brand in the 1930s.

Despite being the youngest of seven siblings, Fanie couldn’t inherit the family farm in Wellington. At the age of 17, he began his journey by buying and selling fruit.

He saved money and started a fruit-buying and exporting business with only £75. In 1928, at the age of 20, he moved to the Hex River Valley and began his packing operation, purchasing his first farm.

Fanie took a chance by growing table grapes on the other side of the Hex River towards the Matroosberg mountain, which was previously deemed unfit for agriculture due to its stony soil.

To everyone’s surprise, the soil on the other side of the river was much better, and higher quality table grapes were grown. Other farmers followed soon and started growing table grapes on the other side of the river.

Rossouw Family Farm Expands and Diversifies Across Four Generations

Etienne Rossouw Sr., Fanie's oldest son, took over the family farm in 1956.

Today, the farm is managed by Andre Rossouw, Etienne Sr.'s youngest son, with his wife Adanda handling administrative and financial duties. 

Since taking over in 1993, Andre has expanded the farm from 36 to 50.6 hectares and boosted production from 25,000 to 201,000 cartons per harvest season.

Etienne Rossouw Jr., Andre, and Adanda’s son is the 4th generation on the farm and joined the farming business in 2020 after finishing his studies in BA Sports Science and BCom Honours in Industrial Psychology. Etienne Jr. is currently the general manager of the farm.

Sumarie Rossouw, daughter of Andre and Adanda finished her studies in BSc Conservation Ecology and Entomology in 2020. Sumarie is doing part-time administration and media on the farm, while her main focus is on wildlife conservation.

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Farming Practices Before the 1980s

Before the 1980s there was no local cooling facility. No temperature-controlled cooling containers for transport and shipping were available at the time.  

In the past, it was also common to see farmers dressed in suits and ties while working in the vineyard, and grape packing was allowed outside in the open air.

The grapes were transported on the back of an open truck to the De Doorns train station where it was transported to Cape Town harbour about 140 km from the Hex River Valley.

However, today, there are strict health and safety regulations in place, and grape packing is required to be done inside a designated packing facility to ensure food safety and hygiene standards are met.