INSIDE: The Stellenbosch wine estate a European bidder bought via telephone for over R52m
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A European bidder has bought - for R52,25 million (less than €3m) - the 329-year-old Morgenhof Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
The wine farm will exchange hands from one European owner to another in this historic auction that drew attention internationally, with bidders even flying into the country to view the property in the lead up to Wedneday’s auction.
The winning bidder, whose details are not fully known, went head to head with bidders from South Africa, Australia, China, Germany, Belgium, Lesotho, India, Italy, France, England, Kenya, Canada and the United States for the historic wine farm.
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The bid was made via telephone as more than 2 500 people around the world watched the High Street Auctions auction’s virtual live-stream.
The buyer who is based in Europe, prefers no further details about them are released at this stage and the sale is subject to a 14-day confirmation period.
The historic Morgenhof Wine Estate lies on the slopes of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch. The winning bid bought Morgenhof as a going concern, with all furniture, fixtures and fittings included in the sale. The contents of the wine cellar also formed part of the auction lot.
Anne Cointreau, whose family has produced wine, champagne and spirits in France since 1272, owned the farm for almost 30 years before putting it up for auction. Her great grandfather Adolphe created the famous orange liqueur that carries the family name and her grandfather the luxury Remy Martin brand of cognac.
Cointreau wanted to see the legacy continue for another three centuries, “so after three decades of contributing her lineage’s 800 years of viticulture experience to this estate she is handing over the reins. Cointreau will be returning to France to retire and enjoy life with her extended family...”, said High Street Auctions Director and Lead Auctioneer Joff van Reenen.
The historic Morgenhof Estate spans 210 hectares with just over 70 hectares currently under vine.
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“Substantially adding to the attraction of the estate itself is the fact that it was auctioned with considerable foreign exchange and assessed tax loss incentives that would be extremely beneficial to the eventual buyer,” said Van Reenen.
The estate includes: two luxury manor houses with finishes and furnishings, a wine tasting venue, a wedding chapel, guest cottages, function rooms, a unique architect-designed sunken octagonal skylit wine cellar and a large award-winning winery are just some of the special features of this splendid property.
“Morgenhof is also a true pioneer of South African viticulture. Dating back to 1692, one can trace the rich wine-making history back to the original French Huguenots,” said Van Reenen.
“The vineyards are farmed as ‘dry land’, which result in smaller yields and superior concentrations in the berries. The estate comprises a variety of soil types, with the terroir further complimented by altitudes ranging from 65-400 metres above sea level.
“Morgenhof’s portfolio of wines includes a mixture of reds and whites, ranging from the fresh Sauvignon Blanc to the barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc. The red wine range offers a selection of iconic single varietal wines including a revered Merlot and a vibrant Pinotage, as well as a Bordeaux-style blend that is also the flagship of the Morgenhof range.”
Van Reenen says the built infrastructure improvements on Morgenhof include:
The pristinely restored 450m² main manor house comprising five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a lounge, dining room and kitchen as well as a wrap around open terrace paved in terracotta tiles and a splash pool;
The Top House, a second manor of 730m² elevated among the vineyards. The two-storey Cape Dutch style dwelling has four bedrooms, attached staff quarters and its own private swimming pool;
* A 600-ton capacity wine cellar;
* Underground barrel fermentation hall;
* Wine tasting room and terrace;
* Wedding chapel;
* Conference venue with attached catering facilities;
* Bistro and coffee shop;
* Office block; and
* Staff accommodation of various types.
“This is an established and well-diversified business with multiple income streams that offers a new owner with vision, massive potential to expand.”