SOUTH AFRICA – Centuries old South African wine estate owned by Anne Cointreau, a scion of the family famous for French cognac and orange liqueur, has been sold to an international buyer in Europe for just over R52m (US$3.5m).

The 329-year-old Morgenhof estate in Stellenbosch, owned for nearly three decades by Cointreau, was sold as a going concern with all furniture and cellar contents included, the lead auctioneer said, after closing its doors last year because of Covid-19, reports Bizcommunity.

The sprawling 210-hectare estate, with a third under vine, includes two luxury manor houses, a wedding chapel, guest cottages and a restaurant.

Morgenhof can trace its roots back to 1692 and the arrival of French Huguenots in Cape Town after fleeing religious prosecution in their home country.

“Madame Cointreau has decided to retire and to go back to the family farm in France and enjoy her golden years with her grandchildren.

“It’s a prized asset and I’ve been auctioning for 32 years and this is probably the oldest property that’s been auctioned off in the country at 329 years,” Joff van Reenen of High Street Auctions said.

There was huge interest from North America, Europe and across South Africa during the virtual auction that attracted more than 100 buyers and saw around 1.4 million people view the campaign online, he added.

Still in the African land of fine wine, DGB, one of South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producer, has expanded its portfolio with acquisition of majority stake in Backsberg, an iconic winery in the country.

Under the deal, Backsberg’s cellar equipment nestled on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, will be relocated to Franschhoek, where the wines will now be produced under newly formed entity Backsberg Family Wines.

The new Backsberg winery will be housed in a property adjacent to DGB’s Franschhoek Cellars winery.

Following the transaction, the Kosher wines under the “Unorthodox” trademark, together with the Tread Lightly and Backsberg Sydney BackBrandy brands have joined DGB’s premium brands include Boschendal, Bellingham, Douglas Green, Franschhoek Cellars, Brampton, and Fryer’s Cove

The estate’s alembic brandy pot still will also be incorporated into a new artisanal distillery DGB is building in Franschhoek under the name of The Old Road Distillery Co.

DGB is confident that as custodian of some of the Cape’s most respected and established wine brands, the company will ensure the legacy of Backsberg, a long-established name in the Cape winelands which has been in the hands of the famous Back family for over a century, will continue to grow from strength to strength.

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