This week’s Winery Owner of the Week [WOW] is Nathaniel Rothschild (below) whose stake in French First Growth and perennial Chinese favourite Château Lafite was valued at £400m in 2011 by the Sunday Times in their annual Rich List briefing for tax inspectors, kidnappers and the envious. Nat is in the news a lot these days as his battle against the beastly Bakries for control of Indonesian coal miner Bumi (a headline that could have been penned by that alliterating alimentarian Mr. Min) reaches a crescendo in London today.
The situational variables at Vaughan Johnson’s Waterfront wine emporium have improved immeasurably since Millpark baker Vovo Telo opened their shop next door. Now wafts of freshly baked brioche float through the cellar to such an extent that it smells like a Champagne bar. VJ (below) is off to Burgundy tomorrow but before he left he was singing the praises of Lormarins Optima 2008, a Cabernet/Merlot blend he sells for R132 a bottle.
At dinner last night at the excellent Tang Dynasty restaurant in Shanghai, there were no Bordeaux bargains on the menu to go with the bullfrog boiled in hot chili oil or deepfried big snake. Chateau Dauzac was R9,000 a bottle and Lafite R38,000, so we settled on Asahi beer at R30 for 625ml (curious volume).
But where do these crazy prices come from? Hein Koegelenberg, whose Leopard’s Leap sells one in every two bottles of SA wine in the Middle Kingdom, says to add a nought to the wholesale price to get retail. The old Alan Pick zero % markup.
OK, so SAB-Miller and their Castle Lager are a bunch of Charlie’s with their Charles Glass appreciation society. Well Distell also have a Charlie in the closet. William Charles Winshaw (in the frame below), who founded the company and invented Chateau Libertas, a red blend for wine drinkers (as opposed to poseurs) that celebrated it’s 80th birthday yesterday, in fine style, at the Big Easy eatery in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch.
The industry paid-for WOSA World web site complains that this blog “as often happens” has taken a statement of CEO Su Birch “totally out of context, and the author of the blog had neglected to include my other positive comments about foreign investment.” Not true. I was commenting on a report on the sale of Klein Constantia to foreign cycling interests in Die Burger and linked to the article, so the context was clear.Read More…
Last month’s sale of Klein Constantia to two Cape Argus cyclists plots a new data point on the sparse graph of historic land sales in the Cape. My initial guess of €20 million plus R60 million overdraft seems to have been not too far off the money with my best estimate at the minute revised to R130 million plus R90 million to the bank or R220 million for 82ha of vineyards on a 146ha estate.Read More…