Boekenhoutskloof Behemoth gobbles up the Helderberg

The Good Value Guru is sad. After three decades of bi-annual visits to the Helderberg Co-op, the establishment is leaving the sheltered cove of the Company of Wine People, itself formed by a merger of Stellenbosch Co-ops, to become part of Boekenhoutskloof, the Franschhoek grape Godzilla that is chomping up winemaking resources faster than Julius Malema downs Nando’s chicken. Out go the winemaker, tasting room manager (after 17 years service), nine cellar hands and even the cleaning lady.

hel Boekenhoutskloof Behemoth gobbles up the Helderberg

Dark clouds gather over the Helderberg

The GVG reflected on how much easier his task of nailing down vinous bargains was 25 years ago. For Pinotage: Eersterivier or Bottelary Co-op; for Shiraz: Helderberg and for Cabernet Sauvignon: Welmoed or Vlottenberg Co-op. The sixth Co-op, Koelenhof, was so far out, no one considered them. Quite fitting then that Helderberg should have been snaffled by the most successful Shiraz producer in SA – Boekenhoutskloof – even if they are so upstairs they misspell Shiraz as Syrah.