CAPE TOWN - Having grown up in Cape Town, Graham Beck chief executive Chris du Toit has always had an interest in wine and specifically the business of wine.
Du Toit joined Graham Beck Enterprises in 2012 as chief executive, reporting directly to the owner of the business, Antony Beck. Part of his management portfolio includes the luxury lifestyle destination, Steenberg Estate, which encompasses the Steenberg Vineyards, the five-star Steenberg Hotel and Spa and two popular restaurants.
Steenberg is the oldest registered farm in the Cape, having been granted to the enigmatic Catharina Ras in 1682.
Du Toit, a born humanitarian who is actively involved in various community initiatives, says the entire Steenberg team is focused on creating truly memorable personal experiences for its guests on the historic wine farm. “Everything we do is in line with our brand promise of authentic luxury heritage. Our core company values are understood by every member of staff and our team is focused on living these values each day in the workplace. Our team is the most important part of our business and we strive to ensure that they excel at and enjoy everything they do. This philosophy is a cornerstone of our business.”
Du Toit – a natural leader, inspiring the business employees to reach their goals, and power business success as a result – explains that Steenberg is a financially sustainable business that offers permanent employment opportunities to more than 200 people. “This also ensures we have the financial ability to maintain the heritage buildings and sites on the farm.”
The property was initially bought to create a lifestyle estate comprising of privately-owned homes, set among lush vineyards, with restaurants and a golf course. Most of the working vineyards were planted in the early 90s, and it was a natural choice since Constantia is such a pristine area to plant vineyards- cool maritime conditions, excellent soils and a strong wine heritage. The hospitality and wine business was more recently nurtured under the watchful eye of Graham Beck, who invested into the property’s offerings and in essence fashioned the lifestyle destination that Steenberg is today.
The chief executive says part of Steenberg’s long-term strategy is “to remain a complete lifestyle destination that meets our discerning customer’s expectations. To be the most loved luxury wine destination on a global platform”.
In the next five years, the estate’s vision is to produce globally recognised méthode cap classique and Constantia still wines as well as continuing the success of the brand both locally and internationally, according to du Toit.
Part of its latest offering is the Steenberg Fleet Range encompassing a dry rosé, a lightly wooded chardonnay and a full-bodied cab/shiraz, launched on September 1 last year(2017) at various events around the country. “We have discontinued our entry-level range (Klein Steenberg), so needed a range of wines that can cover some of the volume shortfalls but still remain true to the high-end nature of the brand,” says Du Toit.
- BUSINESS REPORT