Start-up capital will provide funding for the capital projects as well as 30 months’ running costs.
Today he is known as the co-founder of WineCellar.co.za.
While on a wine tour, he and Extreme Fighting Championship President Cairo Howarth reasoned that while many individuals wanted to own a wine farm, but lacked the means to buy one on their own, if they clubbed together they could use fractional ownership to each get a share of one.
They approached winemaker Gordon Newton Johnson to join their venture and eventually made a bid for a 60-hectare farm in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus.
They renamed the farm Hemelzicht, and came up with a novel investment proposal.
In exchange for R1 million, investors get:
The plan is to raise R80 million in this way.
This money will not only be used to buy Hemelzicht, but also to develop the farm, with a state-of-the-art winemaking cellar, an owner’s tasting room and later on the development of a high-end cellar, restaurant and other hospitality assets.
Start-up capital will provide funding for the capital projects as well as 30 months’ running costs. It expects to break even in 2026.
Although it is still early days, Peens says there is a lot of interest. He expects Hemelzicht to reach its capital raising target by the end of February.
Though these plans are ambitious, running a successful wine farm is not easy. Wine farmers, for instance, joke that the only way to make R1 million running a farm is to start with R2 million.
Peens is not blind to these difficulties and hence says Hemelzicht will be run on business principles.
For example, there will be a board comprising Newton Johnson, Howarth and Peens as executive directors, with a further three to five shareholders coming on as non-executive directors.
Peens will be CEO, and the operations will be divided into winemaker and viticulturalist, sales team, and administration.
Peens says the ultimate goal is to have Hemelzicht become a leading producer of world-class, exported fine wines.
Hemelzicht is still in the early days when it comes to tapping the fine wine market. It will, for instance, only be making 10 tonnes or 7,000 bottles of wine this year.
There are plans to ramp up production to 60 tonnes or 40,000 bottles in 2022 and then produce 150 tonnes or 100,000 bottles from 30 hectares by 2026.
This article first appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission.
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