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Great investment oppurtunity in the Cape WinelandsWorld renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants, the Cape Winelands village of Franschhoek was founded in 1688 by French Huguenots. Today the valley continues with its vigneron tradition, which dates back to the 16th century, so it comes as no surprise that some of South Africa's oldest and most famous wine estates are found in the area, and that they still produce some of the country’s top wines.
“Widely considered to be the food and wine capital of the Cape, Franschhoek is situated just 40 minutes from Cape Town and is known as a safe and secure area with a happy community,” says Peter Hager, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Prestige Country Properties, which operates in the area.
It is here that RE/MAX Prestige Country Properties has a 137ha wine estate that has incredible investment potential on the market for approximately R69 million. The estate, which is situated at the entrance to the magnificent Franschhoek Valley, is a working wine estate that has five lovely self-catering cottages. The crops planted are an exciting variety of wines, many sold to high class estates that produce some of the finest wines. The 36,99ha of vines include SA Riesling, Semillon, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, cabernet sauvignon, colombar, shiraz, pinotage, and chardonnay.
The property is zoned agricultural with guest house /accommodation rights, however, the current owners have drafted up a development proposal to expand on the current offerings.
Hager explains that an opportunity exists for developing the estate which lends itself to the creation of a luxury hotel. This project already has approval in principle from the Stellenbosch municipality due to its diverse socio-economic and employment potential with a significant historic and political history. “Dennis Moss and Associates, the company which undertakes all the planning for Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, notes in a letter to the current owner that the proposed hotel development stands an excellent chance of being approved due to the fact that the land use is consistent with provincial and municipal policy and due to the fact that the impact on productive agricultural land would be negligible,” says Hager.
The estate is situated within walking distance from the Victor Verster prison where former President Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, was famously released after many years of incarceration. “Many people incorrectly believe he was released from Robin Island, but his final release on 11 February 1990 was from the gates of the Victor Verster Prison. This event is now commemorated with a larger-than-life bronze statue depicting his famous victory salute,” says Hager.
With the creation of a new luxury hotel complex, guests will be able to enjoy the splendour of the Cape Winelands and have the memorable and emotional opportunity of visiting the prison.
At present, the estate is planted to noble cultivars, and a variety of fruit crops. The potential exists in this aspect to establish an agricultural school training youth in all aspects of the wine industry, from the start, planting and maintaining the vineyards to the end bottled product, the marketing and merchandising of the estate wine both in South Africa and internationally. “This is an exceptional employment and education opportunity that will help to provide a future for our youth,” says Hager.
He says that in addition, the hotel complex would create a flood of employment opportunities from events coordination, food and beverage management, chef training, culinary supervision and restaurant management to hotel management from front of house, housekeeping and financial management - the opportunities are endless.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that investment opportunities such as this are few and far between. “There is no doubt that a shrewd business investor could make an overwhelming success of this project considering the prime location and opportunities that this property presents.”
“It would be advantageous if an American-based Hotel Group could partner a BEE group in South Africa to make this project a reality, as the staff could also have the wonderful motivation and opportunity to work at the hotel groups American operation as further training, a chance of a lifetime for so many young people,” Hager concludes.