During a conversation over lunch yesterday, a winelands property agent asked me which South African wine farms I considered to be “iconic”. In 2011, self-made billionaire Zdenek Bakala and business associate Charles Harman acquired Klein Constantia for a reported R200 million and I guess the agent was asking what other properties would warrant that sort of premium.
How to determine “iconic”? Factors to consider for me would be 1) historical legacy, 2) regional pedigree, 3) reputation of wine and 4) architectural grandeur.
My six iconic wine properties would therefore be:
4. Klein Constantia
Others in contention would be:
Bouchard Finlayson, Buitenverwachting, Delaire Graff, De Wetshof, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Jordan, Morgenster, Neethlingshof, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver Estate, Rust en Vrede, Steenberg, Thelema, Tokara, Uitkyk
Those who probably aspire to icon status but to my mind are not quite there include:
Delheim, DeMorgenzon, Diemersdal, Graham Beck (Robertson), Ernie Els Wines, Guardian Peak, Hartenberg, Simonsig, Springfield, Waterford, Warwick
Not in contention although high-profile:
Boekenhoutskloof – as much a brand (with grapes sourced from all over) as a property
Groot Constantia – owned by a non-profit trust and presumably not up for sale