Dutch East India Company

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Dutch East India Company, powerful trading organization which played a seminal part in the wine history of south africa. Founded in March 1602 by the amalgamation of four Holland and two Zeeland companies which had been set up between 1596 and 1602 to conduct trade in East Asia, the General United Chartered East-India Company in the United Netherlands (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie: VOC) dominated European trade with the Orient for the rest of the 17th century, with counters and outposts strung out along the extended sea routes which linked the Netherlands with southern Africa, India, Ceylon, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Japan. Apart from its participation in the bulk transport of fortified wines such as madeira and spirits to the ends of its seaborne empire, it played a vital part in the Dutch penetration of southern Africa and in the establishment of viticulture on the Cape of Good Hope. See south africa, history.