Wine merger creates Bonnievale behemoth

WandsBeck’s cellars. Source: Supplied.

The little-known Klein Karoo hamlet of Bonnievale has confirmed its ability to punch above its weight after announcing that the town’s co-op will merge with WandsBeck Wines in what is said to be a viticultural ground-breaker of sorts.

The new producer, Bonnievale Wine Cellar Group, has collective assets of R300bn and will have a cellar capacity of 40 000 tonnes.

The group’s chair, Anton Smuts, mentioned that several market challenges had necessitated the merger.

Primary among these was a changing producer and marketing environment, he said.

Smuts added that key objectives of profitability, production and expansion would hopefully secure the group’s long-term security.

WandsBeck chair Philbert Lourens said the producer’s tonnage had of late decreased, resulting in a loss of members and flagging profits.

He said it was hoped that WandsBeck’s merger with Bonnievale would drive sales through market competitive prices and sustained, streamlined supply.

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