China invests in South African wine


2 August 2013

Yangzhou-based Perfect China has made the Asian country’s first investment in South Africa’s wine industry, acquiring the Val de Vie estate in the Western Cape in a deal expected to boost exports of South African wine to the Far East.

Perfect China, through its 51% shareholding in Perfect Wines of South Africa, purchased the 25-hectare wine farm between Paarl and Franschhoek that includes 21 hectares of vineyards, a manor house and wine cellar.

Perfect Wines of South Africa was established as a joint venture between Hein Koegelenberg from Leopard’s Leap and La Motte and Perfect China in 2011.

“The L’Huguenot brand was born out of this joint venture and has already been responsible for the export of 2.8-million bottles of wine to China in 2011 and 2012 – amounting to about 25% of the total annual South African wine exports to China,” Perfect China, Perfect Wines of South Africa and Val de Vie said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Perfect China distributes L’Huguenot throughout the Far East with a sales team of over a million agents and 5 000 depots to markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

“The Chinese wine market is very important to our industry, and this first Chinese investment in the South African Winelands is a clear indication of their interest in our wines and can lead the way to a bright future for the export of SA wine to the East,” said Perfect Wines of South Africa chairperson Hein Koegelenberg.

Perfect Wines will host 700 members of the Chinese sales team on an incentive trip to Cape Town in September, in the first of a series of planned annual incentive trips, to introduce them to South Africa and equip them to better sell the wine in the Far East.

Val de Vie’s cellar facilities will be expanded as part of the agreement to increase production and maturation capacity. “Producing these volumes of quality wine requires many services, which will effect job creation in the winelands,” the companies said.

“With this venture we want to focus on tourism from China to South Africa.

“Bringing the Chinese customers to South Africa and letting them experience our wine beauty will turn them into permanent wine ambassadors,” Koegelenberg said.

SAinfo reporter