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ʼn Ongelyke Oes: Die Franse Hugenote en die vroeë Kaapse wynbedryf


  • Johan Fourie

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Dieter von Fintel

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)


Although Van Riebeeck already produced the first wine at the Cape in 1659, the arrival of French Huguenots during 1688/89 gave considerable impetus to Cape wine production. The reasons for this remain unclear. By using quantitative production data over more than a century of European settlement, we show that a subgroup of Huguenots – specifically those originating from wine producing regions in France – produced significantly more wine and more productively than the other settlers. Standard factors of production do not explain the difference: the knowledge, skills and secrets of viticulture allowed these Huguenots to produce quality wine, an invaluable asset in the fight against scurvy on the long ship voyages between Europe and the East. These competitive advantages were passed down over generations, so that, even a century after arrival, the families with the initial advantage were still more adept at wine-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2010. "ʼn Ongelyke Oes: Die Franse Hugenote en die vroeë Kaapse wynbedryf," Working Papers 29/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers128

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gunnar Bardsen & Kjersti-Gro Lindquist & Dimitrios P.Tsomocos, 2006. "Evaluation of macroeconomic models for financial stability analysis," OFRC Working Papers Series 2006fe01, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
    2. Stan du Plessis & Ben Smit & Federico Sturzenegger, 2007. "Identifying aggregate supply and demand shocks in South Africa," Working Papers 11/2007, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Kaapkolonie; Suid-Afrika; VOC; Hugenote; wynbou; slawe; Cape colony; South Africa; VOC; Huguenots; viticulture; viniculture; wine making; slaves;

    JEL classification:

    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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