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Quoin Rock Winery and Manor Estate to be auctioned

The high-profile auction of Dave King's Quoin Rock Winery and Manor Estate will take place at the Quoin Rock Winery, Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch on 10 December 2011, at 11am. Quoin Rock will be sold as a going concern and will include all its equipment, furnishings, artwork, movable assets, wine stock, licences and trademark rights.

The sale of the estate, which belonged to businessman Dave King, is the highest value liquidation auction to have ever been held in the Western Cape, according to the auctioneers, Auction Alliance. "We have received instructions from joint liquidators Cloete Murray, Norman Klein and Elizabeth Edward," said Auction Alliance CEO, Rael Levitt.

The estate and winery features a helipad, an underground cave that housed functions for leading Stellenbosch businessmen and luminaries, and includes a spectacular homestead and state-of-the-art Italian-imported wine cellar. "The sale has already been attracting massive interest from leading South African businessmen as well as several foreign buyers," explained Levitt. "We are not only selling one of the country's most valuable farms, but Quoin Rock wines is a brand known internationally."

Situated in the country's most valuable agricultural real estate on the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountain, the 194 hectare property is part of the original Cape wine-growing region within the world-renowned Stellenbosch area.

Value estimated at R150 million

The liquidators have verified the value of the stock and moveable assets of the farm at an estimated R30 million while the property itself is estimated to be worth R120 million. The sale includes antique pieces and artwork, including pieces by Irma Stern, Otto Klar and David Botha, which are liberally placed throughout the property. There is an extensive collection of late-18th century antique furniture and French Provencale-style Zigler carpets.

After being purchased in 1998, a vigorous replanting programme was implemented by King in 2000 and 39.94 hectares of registered virus-free vineyards, specifically matched to the terrior of the estate, replaced the older vineyards. In addition, the farm has 17.6 ha of fallow land, 4.4 ha of fruit orchards, an olive grove extending over 1.92 ha and 120 ha of natural fynbos.

The state-of-the-art wine cellar facility was designed from the ground up with top-quality wine production in mind. "For instance, a 6000-litre tank is able to be hoisted to service all four levels of the cellar, thus ensuring that wine can be moved about via gravity instead of being exposed to the mechanical harshness of high-pressure pumps. The winery is fully equipped with imported machinery and has produced the highly acclaimed Quoin Rock, Glenhurst and Gary Player range of wines," explained Levitt.

Building an exact replica

King flattened the highest point on the farm and developed a Cape Dutch-style masterpiece, where no expense has been spared in building an exact replica of a home typical of the Stellenbosch Valley. The homestead, with views that stretch all the way to Table Mountain, is built in a U shape, and features five suites arranged around a large central courtyard and pool. Classic features, such as chandeliers, sash windows and Victorian baths, are fused with modern amenities and custom fittings.

Near the helipad, additional luxury accommodation is provided by four spacious private guest cottages that enjoy spectacular views over the vineyard to Table Mountain in the distance.

King invested heavily in infrastructure on the farm which now boasts a secure perimeter, separate houses for the GM and winemaker, and ample water provision via an irrigation scheme, three boreholes and two catchment dams.

Huge interest expected

Dave King was reported to have earned over R1 billion in profits by quietly selling his shares of his now defunct company, Specialised Outsourcing. The price quickly plummeted once it became public knowledge that he had sold off most of his shares. The auction is expected to attract huge interest from investors and the press, both locally and abroad, who have been following this story closely.

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