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DGB expands Helderberg footprint with Avontuur

Published:  23 January, 2024

As an extension to its already-significant investment into Stellenbosch’s Helderberg wine region, DGB has signed an agreement with Avontuur Estate to take over the running of the wine brand, including its wine production facilities and cellar door.

The acquisition forms part of a longer-term strategy to expand the South African distributor’s premium footprint in some of country’s top terroirs. Back in October, the company began its focus in the Helderberg Mountain in particular by investing in a total of six vineyard properties across the region.

This follows an earlier announcement in 2022, when DGB divulged its plans to invest into 136ha of prime Helderberg vineyards as part of the company’s ongoing mission to nurture and preserve the Cape’s ‘exceptional’ terroir.

As part of the long-term agreement with Avontuur, DGB will uproot and replant all the leaf roll infected vineyards on the estate. A total of 40ha will be replaced and DGB will also take over the estate’s operational activities and cellar.

“I am delighted with this arrangement as it cements our relationship with the Taberer family who will share with us in the success of this iconic wine estate,” said Tim Hutchinson, chairman of DGB South Africa (pictured above with owners Phillip & Michael Taberer). 

“Avontuur’s location in the Helderberg region – some of the Cape’s best terroir – strengthens our growth strategy for premium wine.”

Phillip Taberer, co-owner of Avontuur added: “It is a great privilege to be associated with a top South African company like DGB. Tim and all the DGB associates are not only top professionals in their fields, but truly great people and placing our wine brand in their hands will take it from strength to strength. We are extremely excited and enthusiastic about this partnership, the future of the Avontuur Wines and the overall value that DGB will add to the estate.”

Self-described as ‘terroir-fanatics’, DGB has grown into one of South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producers and distributors since being established in 1990, with a focus in recent years on ‘supporting growth of our premium portfolio of wines across the globe’.

It has also been on a mission to protect the country’s rapidly disappearing vineyard area: over the past 15 years, up to 11% of premium vineyards in Stellenbosch have been uprooted for several reasons, including the all-too-common leafroll virus, the appeal of more profitable crops and increasing urban development. The area of premium red grapes younger than 15 years under vine has also dwindled massively and is now 70% smaller compared to 20 years ago.

The preservation of these sites as healthy vineyards is instrumental to the continued production of fine South African red wines, the company says. The replanting will also secure the supply of quality varietals for the growth of DGB’s premium wine portfolio.

“At DGB, we place significant value in personal relationships and this agreement is an excellent example of such a win-win relationship with a special family. We are busy working on a completely new portfolio and new packaging for launch later this year and there will be one ultra-premium wine in the top tier called The Taberer, a tribute to the late Tony Taberer,” Hutchinson said.