Hedging market and climate risks on a family wine farm

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019
Farmer's Weekly, Glenneis Kriel
Boplaas Family Vineyards shows that farm size does not really matter if you want to makeit in the wine industry. Owner Carel Nel spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he and his team in this relatively small operation have weathered market fluctuations by experimenting with Portuguese grape varieties and introducing new products.

While Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo has been firmly established as the ‘Port Mecca’ of South Africa, the production of this fortified wine is not enough to keep a farm in operation.

Carel Nel, owner of Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp, explains that sales volumes have declined steadily over the past decade, which means that farmers have to be highly strategic to make it in the market.

Boplaas has a number of strong advantages, one of which is Nel’s dedication to the production of premium-quality wines and spirits. Since he joined the farm, 40 vintages ago, Nel has undertaken many trips to Portugal, where he has befriended some of the Duoro Valley’s top Port producers and learnt the art of crafting fine fortified wines.

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