In a move to focus its wine portfolio further on its export markets, Distell has sold its Lanzerac trademark to Cape entrepreneur Christo Wiese.

Wiese acquired the Lanzerac farm, hotel and manor house in 1991, but an agreement was reached with Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (now part of
Distell) whereby the company maintained the trademark rights for Lanzerac wines domestically. Wiese was responsible for exports and cellar door sales.

The effective date of the transaction is August 1, from when local distribution will be handed over to Wineworx on behalf of Wiese. He will, however, continue to handle exports directly.

Commenting on the sale, Distell's director of corporate affairs André Steyn said: "The disposal of the Lanzerac brand coincides with the company's objective to streamline its product portfolio to become more globally competitive, announced at the time of the merger. 

"Distell is already very well represented in the luxury wine sector with a number of other award-winning estate and boutique brands that enjoy increasing foreign and domestic support.  Moreover, this sector of our portfolio already includes several other wineries in the Stellenbosch area, where Lanzerac is located. In addition to the wineries in which the company has a stake, we also market and distribute on behalf of five independent estates."
 
He continued: "Our intention is to concentrate on building these labels. To this end we are working very closely with international viticultural and cellar specialists in growing quantity to support increased export demand, while even further elevating quantity."
         
Distell sells its luxury brands in the UK, Europe, Canada and, more recently, in the US.

Wiese said the acquisition of the Lanzerac trademark meant he could now unify marketing efforts both locally and abroad in expanding the brand's visibility and standing.  "It already enjoys solid support in a range of European markets and North America and we are aiming to focus on strengthening market share in these markets as well as locally."