14 May 2024

Celebrating the best shots from Vergelegen wine estate photo contest

Submitted by: Judy Bryant
Celebrating the best shots from Vergelegen wine estate photo contest

14 May 2024

The beauty of Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West has inspired nearly 500 photographers – ranging from primary school learners to retirees – to enter the annual Essence of Vergelegen competition.

Following a rigorous selection process in partnership with Orms Direct camera store, in collaboration with Canon, the winners were announced at Vergelegen on Thursday 9 May. The finalists’ subjects ranged from the historic homestead and exquisite gardens, to the Lourens River and surrounding mountain ranges.

The winner of the Camera Class (taken on any camera, with or without lenses) was Jamie van Zyl, who portrayed his wife Sterna walking along a tree-shaded garden path. He took home a R1500 Orms voucher and a collection of six Vergelegen wines.

Van Zyl,  a regular visitor to the estate, described his photographic style as “bringing people into nature.” Based in Paarl, he visits Vergelegen regularly to photograph his grandchildren, daughter and wife in this serene location. “You don’t get many natural places like this, and it’s such a lovely environment for everyone,” he said.

Second place in Camera Class went to Heinrich Knoetze and third place to Thomas Moss.

The Smartphone Class (taken on a cellphone or mobile device) winner was Somerset West local Anel Kriel, also a frequent visitor to the estate with her four daughters. Kriel’s subject was an historic bell, manufactured in France and dating back to 1733, which is rung at the start of the harvest and other happy occasions. She also won a R1500 Orms voucher and six bottles of  Vergelegen wine.

Second place in Smartphone Class went to Murray Williams and third place to Daniel Martin.

Madison-Sophia Hoffmeester, a seven-year-old learner at Generation School in Somerset West, won an Instax camera for her photograph of the Vergelegen homestead, with four deckchairs in the foreground. She won the Junior  Class (16 years and under, image taken on any device).

Joint second place was awarded to Ziya Richter and Oliver Hayes, and joint third place to Joshua Hickley and Jacques le Grange.

The People’s Choice award, which guests voted for at the function, went to Jessie Summerfield.

“The most important part of this competition is the support we get from locals – they make up the soul and spirit of the farm,” said Vergelegen managing director Wayne Coetzer. “Vergelegen was acquired and restored to be enjoyed by all South Africans, and we thank everyone who participated.”

Vergelegen marketing manager Caroline van Schalkwyk said the standard of entries had improved markedly in this second edition of the contest. She thanked “amazing partner” Orms Direct for their generous prizes, and for selecting the top 10 finalists in each class. Addressing the finalists, she said: “All of you could have been first, second and third.”

The finalists’ photographs will be displayed in the Vergelegen library from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 16 June.

Vergelegen opening times: Vergelegen is open to the public daily from 08h30-17h00 (last entry 16h00). The entrance fee is R20/person, or R10/pensioners and scholars. Pensioners enjoy free entry on Mondays. Find out more on www.vergelegen.co.za and social media, call 021 847 2100, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  1. Camera Class winning photograph by Jamie van Zyl (credit Jamie van Zyl).