South Africa's historic Boschendal Estate, one of the largest wineries in the Cape district, has finally been sold, for 323 million rand (roughly $50 million). The winery had been on the market since September 2001.
The new owners, Citation Holdings SA, are a group of investors led by Zimbabwe-born Clive Venning, who will be the new CEO. Citation Holdings purchased 70 percent of the estate, while a black-empowerment investment group, Kovacs Investments, bought the remaining 30 percent. The seller, Anglo American Farms, retains ownership of another South African winery, Vergelegen Estate.
The purchase includes 2,260 acres of land in the Franschhoek Valley, along with the winery, restaurants, historic manor house and other estate buildings. This is only the first phase of the deal: The investors will buy another 3,277 acres of land, adjacent to the wine estate, from Anglo American Farms over the next two to three years.
Venning and his investors plan to continue operating the winery, while also adding a small number of high-end residences, a retirement village and a boutique hotel to the property.
Winemaker J.C. Bekker and chief viticulturist Spekkies van Breda will keep their positions with the winery. Boschendal, which dates back to 1685, currently produces 250,000 cases annually of red, white and sparkling wine, including varietal bottlings of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
Check our ratings of Boschendal wines.