Kobus started experimenting in the making of citrus alcoholic fruit beverages while still in primary school. In 1955, when he was 10 years old, he got a citrus recipe from his aunt, Martha Joubert, and he was hooked! He created his own recipe and made his first “karba” (5 lt. container). One year later, the citrus beverage was a bit rough, bit drinkable. Year after year he refined his recipe and in 1980 he was satisfied with the quality, taste and bouquet. From 1981 he started increasing his volumes and also started experimenting with other citrus juices like Naartjie, which was a success.
In 1986 Kobus applied for the right to market his citrus beverages to the public, but because of the restrictions in the quota system, he was not successful. In 1989 he had already experimented with 16 recipes. From these recipes he chose 3: Mellow, Nectar, and Full Citrus which he made into 3 different citrus varieties: Orange, Naartjie and Minneola. By this time, Kobus had such a large volume of citrus beverages that he did not make any for 10 years.
In 1995 Marie joined Kobus as his wife and right hand. Kobus served his own citrus beverages at his wedding. In the meantime, the quota system was relaxed. In 1997 tragedy strikes. All Kobus’s old beverages were stolen. From 1999 Marie started making the beverages with Kobus and Monate Sitruskelder was named. In 2000 Marie started making her own alcoholic citrus beverages.
Citrus beverages were made on a larger scale and left to mature. In 2000 and 2001 the necessary licenses were obtained. Market research showed that there was a market for the beverages, but the premises of the cellar on the farm Groenkloof were not suitable. Kobus and Marie also made 8 fruit liqueurs blended with a citrus beverage base.
Towards the end of 2001 Monate Sitruskelder moved from Groenkloof to Zandfontein 447 JQ a citrus farm at the Hartbeespoortdam and on the 1st of March , 2002 the cellar opened its doors to the public. The cellar alcoholic beverages, liqueurs and other products proved to be popular with the public and the cellar is growing. They are already thinking of expansion. The volume has also enlarged. In 2002, -55,000L of beverage was made.Monate Sitruskelder is the first and only citrus cellar in South Africa that makes Naartjie and Minneola alcoholic beverages, a true pioneer in the field of citrus beverages.