30 Aug 2013
From the Constantia Valley to Stellenbosch, the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys, the Cape’s wine regions are an important contributor to the economy and a vital part of what attracts visitors to the province.
This is according to Seeff’s managing director for the Winelands, Pierre Germishuys, who says the wine region, wines and tourism products can be compared to some of the best in the world and, because the wines are a sought-after international commodity it is evident from recent reports by Wines of South Africa (Wosa) that exports over the past year are at an all-time high.
The wine farms across the province attract thousands of local and international visitors annually who indulge in wine tasting and buying, gourmet delights and enjoy the many events and festivals which are an important generator of tourism revenue.
Wine tourism is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market and locally contributes around R4.3 billion annually to the country’s tourism revenue.
Germishuys says the weakened currency and continued economic uncertainty in Europe has led to an increase in interest from local and foreign buyers in wine farms in the Cape over the past few months. He says when you consider what trophy homes in residential suburbs are now selling for, then wine estates really do offer exceptional value, even more so when compared to other wine regions such as Italy, France and the USA.
While often low-key, wine farms are selling and demand remains strong, says Stellenbosch agent, André Malan. In the Stellenbosch area, sales have ranged from R30 million to R85 million while top-end wine brands such as Klein Constantia, Lanzerac and more recently Val de Vie and Constantia Uitsig have all found buyers.
From a buyer’s perspective, there is a diverse range of options, from boutique wine farms in the Franschhoek Valley priced from just over R20 million to top wine brand estates that can sell for upwards of R100 million. Often, sellers prefer to not draw attention to the properties; for example, in the Stellenbosch area they currently have homes priced between R25 million and R170 million, says Malan.
Pricing is informed by a number of factors, says Germishuys. These include the region, strength of the brand, size of the land that is under vine, grape varieties and whether there is demand for these. Additionally, the infrastructure and facilities such as a hotel, cottages, restaurants and a winery all come into play in determining the price.
As a general guideline, Franschhoek vineyard estates now sell for between R1 million and R1.2 million per hectare while Stellenbosch farms sell for between R800 000 and R1 million per hectare.
Wine estates in the Paarl Valley sell for between R400 000 and R600 000 per hectare. Smaller wine farm brands in the Stellenbosch area now sell for between R40 million and R45 million, those with hospitality facilities for between R60 million and R70 million and top-end wine estate brands for between R150 million and R300 million.
One of the best buys on the market is a picturesque boutique wine farm situated in sought-after Franschhoek, says agent Dawie Pretorius. The farm is 2.2 hectares in extent with about 1.9 hectares planted with cabernet vines. It is located close to the Huguenot Memorial at the foot of the Middagkrans Mountain with stunning views of the valley. The farm has an abundance of water sources, including two boreholes and a dam. It offers top class security including an alarm system and CCTV cameras.
The property includes a modern thatched Cape Dutch styled manor house that overlooks a dam with a variety of carp, ducks and herons. The home includes spacious accommodation comprising of a lounge, fully equipped entertainment and media room with a bar and braai facilities, family room, dining room and large, country style kitchen with a separate scullery and laundry.
There are three bedroom suites; the main includes his and hers en suite bathrooms. Additional features include an office and a study with built-in shelving along with a wine cellar and storage room and staff accommodation. Finishes include underfloor heating and air conditioning throughout.
The home opens to a terrace that overlooks a 14 metre long, solar-heated swimming pool. There is also a separate gymnasium with a change-room and sauna and bar facilities located next to a floodlit tennis court. A fully computerised irrigation system serves the beautiful gardens.
The property also offers a large, open-plan ‘Mews Flat’ that comes with a kitchenette and spacious bedroom with an extra king-sized four poster bed and separate bathroom. It is beautifully decorated with original artwork and has a large balcony that overlooks the gardens.
There is also a separate 5-star rated guest cottage with an open plan living area and kitchen and two bedroom suites along with a double-storey cottage, also with an open plan lounge and kitchen and a bedroom suite that can serve as the manager’s home. The property further includes garaging for four vehicles, a workshop and large studio space above the garage.
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