20 Nov 2012
Nestled between the Simonsberg, Franschhoek and Wemmershoek mountains, the Franschhoek Valley needs little introduction as one of the country's most scenic locations and the home of gourmet food and wine experiences.
Wine produced in this region has an international reputation for quality, and its farmland is justifiably regarded as some of the most fertile and beautiful in the Western Cape. The opportunity to acquire a working commercial wine farm in this prime location is therefore not one that comes along too often – but now a boutique estate spanning 63.4ha, at the entrance to the valley is on the market through Pam Golding Properties.
Topiary Wines is on the market at R29 million, inclusive of VAT and is a relatively new player in the local market, with the winery only being built in the past seven years.
However, in a relatively short time it has already developed a fine reputation in South Africa for its red wines and its unexpectedly successful Methode Cap Classique – only developed as an afterthought when the owner wanted to experiment with his first crop of white grapes.
Although producing only small volumes for the local market, the farm has a growing brand presence, and has achieved multiple awards for its wines, including four- and five-star Platters ratings, as well as several gold awards at the prestigious Veritas and Michelangelo ceremonies.
The property currently has 20ha under vine, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc varietals. A further 5ha is planted to plums, while another 12ha of arable land is available for future expansion. The remaining hectares consist of mountain fynbos and rare indigenous flowers, which form the backdrop for a scenic fynbos trail on the upper slopes of the property.
Water supply is ample thanks to the high pressure pipeline from the Theewaterskloof Dam to the Wemmershoek Dam, which runs through the property. This means that no pumping is necessary, and the farm relies on drip and micro-jet irrigation techniques alone.
PGP Franschhoek agent Doug Gurr says the property also includes impressive infrastructure. “Besides the state-of-the-art 150 ton winery, there is a well-equipped tasting room and commercial workshop. There is also ample accommodation on the farm, including a charming three-bedroomed main homestead, a three-bedroomed manager's house, a two-bedroomed guest cottage and four labourers’ cottages.
"This means that the owner, manager and staff can all live on site, while still having space for visitors.”
PGP's area manager for the Franschhoek Valley, Surina du Toit, says the property is well-priced for its size and location, especially considering the quality of the existing wine brand associated with the farm.
“Although all of the wine is currently sold within South Africa, there is definitely potential for the operation to be expanded and for new markets to be explored overseas,” she says.
Du Toit says the farm has the scope and capacity to enable such growth, should the new owner wish to expand the operation - this would also surely boost the potential profitability of the label, which is currently a niche brand producing only small volumes.
"We believe that this is the ideal purchase for a buyer who is passionate about wine-making and who appreciates the prestige and scenic beauty of the Franschhoek region,” she says.
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