February 28, 2024

Vergelegen Wine Estate Expands Heritage Herd with Striking New Stud Bull, Bullet

Vergelegen Wine Estate

Vergelegen wine estate has welcomed a magnificent stud bull – two-year-old Bullet –  the latest edition to its thriving herd of 320 Nguni cattle.

Born on a small estate in Raithby between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, Bullet has striking black and white markings, and will be a valuable addition to the Vergelegen breeding herd, which is focused on colour and temperament.

Management decided to introduce Nguni cattle to the 324-year-old wine estate in 2001, and purchased original stock from a local stud in the Malmesbury district and also from the Eastern Cape. The estate registered the Vergelegen Nguni Stud in August 2010.

Nguni cattle are favoured for their multi-coloured hides and as a hardy breed for optimal beef production under harsh African conditions. They are both grazers and browsers, require little maintenance, and calve easily. The Vergelegen Nguni graze on a kikuyu and clover mix, under the watchful eye of stockman Sivuyile Mthiya.

Vergelegen is now home to a total of six Nguni stud bulls: Bullet, Ox and Victor (named after rugby heroes Ox Nché and Victor Matfield), Brutus junior, and two unnamed bulls.

The herd is clearly thriving, as 120 of the 180 cows are expected to calve between June and August this year.

Vergelegen MD Wayne Coetzer, who was raised on a KwaZulu-Natal farm and is a fluent Zulu speaker, says: “Nguni cattle have great aesthetic, cultural and spiritual significance. We are extremely proud to be custodians of this heritage herd.

“I welcome Bullet with great expectations and with a promise of lush meadows, cool clear waters and love. I wish him a future of peace and comfort, enhanced by amenable bovine company.”