Lourensford wine estate : the first ten years

Lombard, Matthys Michiel (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African wine industry has made huge strides in the global wine market since one-channel marketing through the KWV was abandoned and the South African produced wines entered the traditional and emerging wine markets in Europe, Eastern Europe and the Americas. It did not take the South African wine producers and marketers very long to shift their focus to the international markets where deals made in the international currencies held the promise of great profits for successful wine exporters. With the opening of the markets, the trends and tastes of these buyers also influenced the wine styles and the way the South African producer managed his business. Although wine making in South Africa dates back over three hundred years, the re-entering into international wine markets held a great challenge to producers who were unfamiliar with the forces that dictated what and how things had to be done in the international wine arena. The emergence of the new potential for wine producers in global wine markets caught the attention of successful businessmen who ventured into wine making, as most had already developed a passion for wine. Dr. Christo Wiese bought Lanzerac wine Estate in the early nineties, and a few years later bought one of the historic farms in the Western Cape called Lourensford. He set out to develop this fruit farm into one of the top family-owned Wine Estates in the country, with the aim of creating a world renowned South African family-owned wine brand. With a state-of-the-art gravity fed winery and nearly four hundred hectares of vines planted in less than 8 years, this wine brand is slowly but surely starting to emerge on the international wine front. The task ahead is as difficult as the first ten years, but there are a lot of positives and negatives in the development of this premium wine brand that can be used by other business leaders in their decision-making when they start out on the journey to develop a brand. This report documents the first ten years of the Lourensford wine brand and it serves both as a recording of the history as well as a teaching tool for students in wine marketing as it includes interviews with people and role players that were involved and today are still involved in actively building this wine brand. The development of the Lourensford wine brand was started while the vineyards were still very young, and as such the quality of the wines were not ultra-premium from the outset. It was difficult to market these first vintages to get the cash flow right, while at the same time trying to convince the market that this Estate will eventually be producing ultra-premium wines. The focus in the beginning was production oriented, but it had to change to a more market-oriented business. By learning from the mistakes and evaluating the recommendations of this example, the reader can avoid the pitfalls of building a new brand and apply the lessons learned in his or her own business.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf het groot vooruitgang op die globale wynmark gemaak sedert daar in 1994 afstand gedoen is van die KWV se eenkanaalbemarkingstelsel en die Suid-Afrikaanse produsente weer toegelaat is om hul wyne op die tradisionele en ontluikende wêreldmarkte in Europa, Oos-Europa en Amerika te verkoop. Dit het nie die Suid-Afrikaanse produsente en bemarkers baie lank geneem om hul fokus te verskuif van die plaaslike na die internasionale wynmarkte waar die potensiaal om handel te dryf in internasionale geldeenhede, die belofte van groot winste ingehou het nie. Met die oopstel van hierdie markte het die voorkeure en smake van die wynkopers ook die wyse waarop die Suid-Afrikaanse produsente wyne gemaak en hul wynbesighede bedryf het, beinvloed. Alhoewel wynmaak in Suid-Afrika meer as driehonderd jaar lank reeds bedryf word, het die hertoetrede tot die internasionale wynmarkte ook baie groot uitdagings aan wynprodusente gestel,want hulle was nie voorheen blootgestel aan die markkragte wat die manier van handel dryf op internasionale markte beheer het nie. Die ontluiking van nuwe potensiaal vir wynprodusente op internasionale markte het ook die aandag getrek van suksesvolle sakeleiers om te begin wyn maak omdat hulle reeds 'n passie vir wyn gekoester het. Dr. Christo Wiese het in die vroeë negentigerjare die Lanzerac-wynlandgoed gekoop, en 'n paar jaar later een van die historiese plase in die Wes-Kaap, naamlik Lourensford. Hy het dit hom ten doel gestel om hierdie vrugteplaas tot 'n top wynlandgoed in familiebesit,te ontwikkel. Met 'n ultra-moderne, gravitasiegedrewe wynkelder en nagenoeg vierhonderd hektaar wingerd aangeplant in minder as agt jaar, is Lourensford stadig maar seker besig om naam te maak op die internasionale wynfront. Die taak wat nog voorlê is net so uitdagend as die afgelope tien jaar, maar daar is reeds heelwat positiewe en negatiewe lesse wat uit die ontwikkeling van hierdie premiewynhandelsmerk geleer kan word en wat ander sakeleiers in hul besluitnemeningsprosesse kan gebnuik op pad na die ontwikkeling van 'n handelsmerk. Hierdie werkstuk dokumenteer die eerste tien jaar van die Lourensford-wynhandelsmerk en dien as die optekening van die geskiedenis sowel as die verskaffing van 'n opvoedkundige hulpmiddel vir studente in wynbemarking omdat dit onderhoude bevat met rolspelers en mense wat aktief betrokke was, en vandag steeds betrokke is, by die uitbouing van die handelsmerk. Die ontwikkeling van die Lourensford-wynhandelsmerk het begin toe die wingerde baie jonk was, en as sulks was die gehalte van die wyn nie van die staanspoor af van hoogstaande gehalte nie. Dit was moeilik om die eerste oesjare se wyne te bemark om die kontantvloei reg te kry, terwyl daar terselfdertyd gepoog is om die mark te oortuig dat die landgoed uiteindelik ultrapremiewyne gaan produseer. Die fokus aan die begin was produksiegedrewe, maar moes mettertyd na 'n meer markgedrewe besigheid verander. Deur te leer uit die foute wat gemaak is, en die aanbevelings te evalueer, kan die leser die slaggate vermy wanneer kritieke besluite rakende die vestiging van 'n handelsmerk in sy of haar eie besigheid geneem moet word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5484
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