For wine lovers who have harboured dreams of owning a vineyard, the new Hemelzicht Vineyards offers the opportunity to do just that — at least, in part.
A new wine estate investment opportunity — Hemelzicht in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley — is a first of its kind, allowing the public to purchase shares starting at R1m.
Co-founded by the multiple award-winning winemakers, the Newton Johnson family, the vineyard will primarily produce organic, sustainably farmed pinot noir and chardonnay.
Roland Peens, the director of WineCellar.co.za and co-founder and CEO of Hemelzicht, says this could be the first model of its kind around the world. “There certainly are wine farm investments or fund [investments] and there are ways to invest in certain brands, but to invest in the physical property and be an owner of the property and enjoy these sorts of benefits — we think it’s a first in the world,” he says.
Apart from the capital growth and the opportunity to craft wine under the guidance of experienced wine makers, investors can expect annual dividends to be paid out in the form of cash dividends, top-quality wine, and luxury accommodation on the property.
So far, they’ve had interest from 14 countries around the world in the form of private individuals, large businesses and even wine clubs. “A very big drive around this model was to have this wide stratification of owners across the world and across SA,” Peens says.
“With the founders we’ll be about 50 shareholders, which is great because you now have 50 people around SA, and around the world, who are brand ambassadors — and who are contact points in marketing the sale of wine.”
Investors payments are already coming in and, with a pending investors and waiting list, the team from Hemelzicht expect to be fully subscribed by mid-March.
What makes Hemelzicht different to any other winery that starts off in one year (and has to start producing wine from scratch and find a market down the line) is that they already have infrastructure in place. “In fact,” Peens adds, “there are three wine companies that have invested, which means, we’ve already got some markets with distribution and we haven’t even made the wine yet.”
With the level of interest the they’ve already received, Peens says they foresee pent-up demand and will be looking into more opportunities of a similar nature in the future.
“There are definitely people out there who are looking to diversify their investments but also be involved with something real, something that’s palpable — that offers somewhere where you can visit and a product that you can enjoy.” And HemelZicht Vineyards might just be the answer.
• For more information, visit hemelzicht.co.za