Independent alcohol company DGB takes over ownership of South African century old wine business Backsberg

SOUTH AFRICA – 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.

“Family businesses need to evolve, be flexible and fleet-footed, and coming together with DGB – a strong, principled, and innovative wine company – meets this goal.”

Owner Backsberg – Michael Back

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.

“We really respect the legacy of the Back family who have had such a profound influence on the South African industry and besides their successful farming interests we have always admired their sustainability and community upliftment work,” said Tim Hutchinson, executive chairman of DGB.

Backsberg shaped much of the local wine industry, and this was largely through the late Sydney Back, both in terms of commitment to wine quality as well as visionary contributions to the local regulatory wine framework, such as laws allowing estate wine production.

In turn, Sydney’s son Michael made a major contribution towards green vineyard practices and Backsberg was the country’s first carbon neutral winery as well as being a WWF Conservation Champion. 

DGB aims to ensure the name Backsberg continues to be a respected player in the South African wine industry.

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Tim is confident DGB’s extensive route to market in both the local and international markets will ensure a new chapter is written in the history of Backsberg.

Michael’s son, Simon, will continue to work with DGB under the capacity of Director at Backsberg Family Wines.

“As I head into retirement after 45 years in the wine industry, I am thrilled that Simon and DGB are joining hands to grow and develop the Backsberg brand.

“Family businesses need to evolve, be flexible and fleet-footed, and coming together with DGB – a strong, principled, and innovative wine company – meets this goal,” said Michael Back.

Simon Back reiterated saying, “I am excited to work with the DGB executive team in building on the work that my family has done, and taking the Backsberg brand to new heights.”

The deal follows the sale of the Backsberg wine estate in Simondium in the Cape Winelands late last year.

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