The internationally recognised wine estate, Kanonkop has just bought Laibach, an organic wine farm adjacent to it. Laibach was owned by the German Laibach family since 1994, who built the estate into a leading wine farm in the Cape which was especially known for its organic wine production from 40 hectares of prime Simonsberg terroir.
This is an exciting prospect for Kanonkop, but also for the wine industry. Johan Krige, who together with his brother, Paul, owns Kanonkop says the purchasing of Laibach will allow them to unlock future value in their business’ wine endeavours. “As our neighbour, Laibach shares a similar terroir to Kanonkop with its decomposed granite soils and Mediterranean climate,” he says. “Simonsberg is prime real estate for viticulture and wine making, and as a family wine business, Kanonkop could not let an opportunity to acquire an adjacent property like Laibach slip past.”
Kanonkop in itself has 100 hectares of vineyards, and it is renowned for its Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon estate wines, as well as for the Paul Sauer red Bordeaux blend which is named after the farm’s founding father and Johan and Paul Kriges’ grandfather. In addition to these outstanding wines, Kanonkop also produces the popular Kadette range, which is made from grapes selected from select Stellenbosch vineyards.
Laibach includes a cellar and various other buildings, as well as guest accommodation and organically farmed vineyards. The Laibach management team – Michael and Anél Malherbe, winemaker Francois van Zyl and all other employees will remain on the estate. The owner, Petra Laibach-Kühner, who is retiring, welcomes the purchase by Kanonkop and says that the Krige family was her preferred buyer.
“I am immensely proud of what my team has created at Laibach, both as a home in one of the world’s great wine regions, as well as in a leading and pioneering organic wine brand,” she says. “I leave this farm with a heavy heart, but with the knowledge that it is now in the hands of the Krige family who have built Kanonkop into one of the truly great wine farms in the New World.”
May this be the start of even greater things in the world of wine for these pioneers of Pinotage.