KWV began as a government-sponsored co-operative formed by in 1918 after a period of glut and many a bankruptcy, created with the intention of controlling production and to try to smooth out the boom and bust nature of the wine industry at that time.
With the passing of years the KWV became a powerful force, with the weight of the government heavily behind it, and it dominated South African grape growing and winemaking until the end of the Apartheid era, even earning the nickname KGB. During that time, however, it also developed a reputation for less than stellar wines, and of stifling creativity and innovation.
Recognising that it was no longer quite fit for purpose in the modern era it was reformed and in 1998 KWV was converted from a co-operative to a company and was divested of its statutory authority, after which it was sold off into private hands.
Today KWV boasts a team of bright, enthusiastic, award-winning winemakers turning out an impressive range of wines and is now a (benevolent) force to be reckoned with.