The Orange River was renamed in 1779 after the Prince of Orange, but it was also known as the Great River. The Upington canal was built by a missionary named Schröder in 1883 in order to be able to assure the livelihood of his community. The higher lying grounds was irrigated by a water wheel, driven by the canal. The Orange River Scheme started operating in 1966 and to this day this irrigation canal still assist in providing water to the region.
Early in the 1900’s vineyards were planted in the Lower Orange valley for raisin production but later it was found that the Sultana grape could also be used for the production of distilling wine. Alternative ways to process grapes that was not good for making raisins lead to the establishment of the Orange River Wine Cellars Co-op Ltd on 23 December 1965 with their first harvest with Jan Neethling as wine maker in 1968. Four more cellars wat build in the early seventies at Keimoes, Grootdrink, Groblershoop and Kakamas.
The Orange River Wine Cellar has grown from 5182 tons in 1968 to an astonishing record of 184 000 tons in 2004. From the originally three wines that was produced you can now choose from a list of over 30 different products. With a large number of awards over the last couple of years it just goes to show that quality wines speaks for itself.