A RICH LIFE
André Morgenthal is the communications manager of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), an organisation that promotes the distribution of South African wines to international markets. While the wine industry may seem like a distant dream to many of us, Morgenthal assures Finweek that anyone with a few million burning a hole in their back pocket and a keen sense for business can become a wine lord or lady.
In the Western Cape wine farms sell for between R2.9m and R70m or more, but Morgenthal explains that the value of wine farms often lie with the brand associated with the farm. In the winemaking industry, winemakers are often associated with the brand of wine for as long as the quality of the wine remains constant.
“Buying a wine farm is just like buying any other business. The new owner can decide if he wants to retain the services of the current winemaker or to bring in his or her own team,” he says.
While Morgenthal is passionate about the i ndustr y, he warns against acquiring a wine farm to get rich.
“A few years ago I had the opportunity to discuss my career in the wine i ndust r y wit h Anton Rupert. He told me that there’s no money in winemaking, but winemakers can secure a wonderful way of life. Middle-men like distributors and resellers make a lot of money from the wine industry, but farmers often don’t get