FROM the Constantia Valley to Stellenbosch, the Franschhoek and Paarl valleys, the Cape's wine regions are an important contributor to the economy and a vital part of what attracts visitors to the province, says Seeff's managing director for the winelands, Pierre Germishuys.
That South Africa's wine region, wines and tourism products can compare with some of the best in the world and that our wines are a sought-after international commodity is evident from recent reports by Wines of South Africa (Wosa) that exports over the past year was at an all-time high.
The wine farms across the province attract thousands of local and international visitors annually who indulge in wine tasting and buying, gourmet delights, enjoy the many events and festivals on offer and are important generators of tourism revenue. Wine tourism is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market and locally contributes around R4.3-billion annually to the country's tourism revenue.
Germishuys says the weakened currency and continued economic uncertainty in Europe have led to an increase in interest from local and foreign buyers in wine farms in the Cape over the past few months.
When you consider what trophy homes in residential suburbs are now selling for, then wine estates really do offer exceptional value, he says.
Stellenbosch agent André Malan says in the Stellenbosch area sales have ranged from R30-million to R85-million while top end wine brands such as Klein Constantia, Lanzerac and more recently Val de Vie and Constantia Uitsig have all found buyers.
From a buyer's perspective, there is a diverse range of options, from boutique wine farms in the Franschhoek valley, priced from just more than R20-million, to top wine brand estates that can sell for upwards of R100-million.
"Often, sellers prefer to not draw attention to the properties. For example, in the Stellenbosch area we currently have, on a confidential basis, exceptional estates on our books, priced between R25-million and R170-million," Malan says.
Pricing is informed by a number of factors, Germishuys says. These include the region, strength of the brand, size of the land that is under vine and grape varieties. Additionally, the infrastructure and facilities such as a hotel, cottages, restaurants and a winery all come into play.
As a general guideline, Franschhoek vineyard estates now sell for between R1-million and R1.2-million/ha while Stellenbosch farms sell for between R800000 and R1-million/ha. Wine estates in the Paarl valley sell for between R400000 and R600000/ha.
Smaller wine farm brands in the Stellenbosch area now sell for between R40-million and R45-million, those with hospitality facilities for between R60-million and R70-million and top end wine estate brands for between R150-million and R300-million.
One of the best buys on the market is picturesque boutique wine farm La Providence, situated in sought-after Franschhoek, says agent Dawie Pretorius. The farm is 2.2ha in extent, with about 1.9ha planted with cabernet vines. It is located close to the Huguenot Memorial at the foot of the Middagkrans Mountain with stunning views of the valley.
The farm has an abundance of water sources, including two boreholes and a dam. It boasts top class security.
The property includes a modern thatched Cape Dutch styled manor house that overlooks a dam with a variety of carp, ducks and herons. The home includes spacious accommodation comprising of a lounge, fully equipped entertainment and media room with a bar and braai facilities, family room, dining room and large, country style kitchen with a separate scullery and laundry.
There are three bedroom suites; the main includes his and hers en-suite bathrooms. Additional features include an office and a study with built-in shelving along with a wine cellar and storage room and staff accommodation. Finishes include under-floor heating and air conditioning throughout.
The home opens to a terrace that overlooks a 14m long, solar-heated swimming pool. There is also a separate gymnasium with a change-room and sauna and bar facilities located next to a floodlit tennis court. A fully computerised irrigation system serves the beautiful gardens.
Additional features of the property is the large, open-plan "mews flat" and a separate guest cottage a further double-storey cottage, garaging for four vehicles, a workshop and large studio space above the garage.