Following on their significant recent investments in the French wine industry, especially in Bordeaux, China has now made its first investment in the South African wine industry.
Perfect China, the 51% shareholding partner in Perfect Wines of South Africa has purchased the wine cellar at well-known Val de Vie Estate in the heart of the Winelands, between Paarl and Franschhoek. The purchase also includes a 25 ha wine farm with 21 ha of vineyards and the historic manor house dating back to 1783. The polo estate, residential property, clubhouse and restaurant are not included in the deal.
The cellar facilities will be used by Perfect Wines of South Africa, a JV that was formed in 2011 between Hein Koegelenberg of Leopard’s Leap and Perfect China in Yangzhou. The L’Huguenot brand was born out of this JV and in 2011 and 2012 already, it was responsible for the export of 2.8 million bottles of wine to China – amounting to about 25% of the total annual South African wine exports to China. Now with its own address, production and maturation facilities, the future for this brand created as a celebrating of the French Huguenot heritage of wine in South Africa, looks very promising.
Perfect China distributes the L’Huguenot wine brand in the Far East with a direct sales team of more than a million agents and via 5000 depots in China as well as infrastructure in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
“The Chinese wine market is very important to our industry and this first Chinese investment in the South African Winelands is a clear indication of their interest in our wines and can lead the way to a bright future for the export of SA wine to the East”, says Chairman of Perfect Wines of South Africa, Hein Koegelenberg (also CEO of La Motte and Leopard’s Leap Wine Estates).
The Joint Venture will also be bringing 700 members of the Chinese sales and distribution team to Cape Town on an incentive trip in early September, with a gala dinner to be held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 3rd of September. With support from the Tourism Offices of the Western Cape and MEC Alan Winde, the idea is to introduce them to South Africa which will enable them to do an even better job of selling our wines. This will be the first of an annual incentive visit of the same nature which will definitely contribute to the local economy.
“This venture also focuses on tourism from China to South Africa. Bringing Chinese customers to South Africa, and letting them experience our wine beauty, will turn them into permanent wine ambassadors”, says Hein Koegelenberg.
Perfect Wines of South Africa plans to extend the current cellar facilities at Val de Vie and increase the maturation capacity. Although the 21 ha of exceptional quality wine grapes will contribute, the remainder of grapes for this range will continue to be sourced from specifically suitable terroir in various regions and through agreements with quality suppliers in the Winelands. Producing these volumes of quality wine requires many services which will affect job creation in the Winelands.
CEO of Elements Development Projects, the developer of Val de Vie Estate, Martin Venter says: “We are excited to be working with Perfect China and Hein Koegelenberg who have been leading the charge for South Africa’s wine exports to the East specifically. The fact that a company the size of Perfect China chose Val de Vie clearly shows that our facilities, heritage and infrastructure, from the cellar to the restaurant and security, are world-class. There is also a great resonance between the L’Huguenot brand and Val de Vie Estate with its French heritage dating back to 1783.”
Ryk Neethling, Marketing Director at Val de Vie Estate added that they recently won the 5 star award at the International Property Awards for Best Development and that Val de Vie, with its world-class polo fields, thriving events business, Polo Club Restaurant and full working wine farm all within a security estate, see the involvement of Perfect China as a great opportunity for exposure to the international market.
Despite selling the wine cellar and vineyard, Val de Vie’s winemaker Harold Versfeld in consultation with Hein Koegelenberg will continue producing and marketing its premium Rhône-style wines which have seen tremendous growth in the past three years.
Released on Thursday, 1 August 2013 on behalf of Perfect China, Perfect Wines of South Africa and Val de Vie
For more information on Perfect China or Perfect Wines of South Africa, please contact the office of Hein Koegelenberg at +27(0)21 876 8805 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Val de Vie, please visit www.valdevie.co.za or contact the office of Ryk Neethling at +27(0)21 863 6100 or email@example.com