Distell launches Libertas Vineyards and Estates in SA

15 January, 2019
Distell launches Libertas Vineyards and Estates

Libertas Vineyards and Estates MD, Kay Nash

Distell, Africa’s leading wines and spirits producer and marketer is launching Libertas Vineyards and Estates as a new stand-alone company with ownership of all the premium wine brands.

The portfolio of brands includes Alto, Nederburg, Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle, Pongrácz, Fleur du Cap and Allesverloren and as well as the heritage assets of Chateau Libertas, Zonnebloem and the Tabernacle. 

The new business will also revitalise the Oude Libertas site which will be their new chosen home for premium wine in Stellenbosch.

“We have started the premiumisation journey at all levels in the business from fine wine skills to brands and brand experiences, portfolio structures, ways of working and new collaborations, and global routes to market,” said Libertas Vineyards and Estates managing director, Kay Nash   

“We are making bold decisions regarding how we operate and compete and Distell with their strong wine DNA, are championing the need for a new approach. There is recognition that the category is challenging and inherently complex and requires a specialist focus, different culture and entrepreneurial approach.

“With Nederburg in our portfolio as well as ownership of all our assets, we can bring back the focus and build an entrepreneurial culture so critical to success in the category.”  

The first priority in the short-term, said Nash, would be to critically review the large portfolio.  

“We have eight brands and 40 sub-brands operating in 88 markets globally across 22 grape varietals, and spanning 384 SKUs. The cost of this complexity is significant and it hinders our ability to focus and support winning propositions.” 

Nash said that as part of the journey they have started to consolidate the secondary production from four sites to a single site at Nederburg to ensure a more efficient supply chain.

“We also understand the critical importance of our farms and partners in making beautiful wines and we want to actively participate in developing solutions and the up-skilling of our industry so we can build a sustainably successful premium wine industry.”

Plans are also underway to redefine the Nederburg Auction, use the historic Oude Libertas site to build a ‘distinctive destination for wine’. This will include creating a collaborative living-working space, a craft centre for local artisanal product sales, a high tech wine museum for the country’s collective history and a micro winery for young wine talent.





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