The farm was formerly known as ‘Keerweer’ or ‘Keerweder’, the title originally having been granted in 1864. The history of the farm before this date appears to have been part of the farm Rooiheuval, which was part of an original grant dating back to the early 18th century.
Another neighbouring farm, ‘Beaumont’, was originally called ‘Campagni’s Drift’, and dates back to 1730. The whole area around Botrivier, including Wildekrans, was used by 17th, 18th and 19th century travellers as an outspan post for the oxen and wagons. The name Botrivier derives from the meaning ‘Butter River’, where the local Hottentot tribe used to sell butter to the early European pioneers. As these early travellers descended the Houw Hoek, they called the vast expanse of Overberg rolling hills in front of them, ‘Canaan’, meaning the ‘promised land’. Wildekrans today fills a prominent space in this wonderful, fertile landscape discovered hundreds of years ago by the early settlers of the Cape, who were seeking agricultural produce for its inhabitants and passing ships.
Early farming included sheep, cattle, grain and onions. The first fruit and grape vineyards were planted over a hundred years ago and the original wine cellar dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, with original M. Kannemeyer built-in concrete vats.
In 1982, the first of the present vineyards were planted and the new wine cellar was built. From 1997, new vineyards comprising over 40 hectares were planted, including 30 hectares of plums and pears, as well as 14 hectares of olives. The new owners have, with great pride and joy, restored every building on the farm, some having been in ruins and dating back over 150 years.
On the western mountain slopes, the site of a former Protea farm, evidence exists of an early Hottentot settlement, and early Stone Age implements have been discovered there.