Larry Jacobs bought the farm Mulderbosch in 1989. When this former intensive care doctor acquired the farm, the community referred to the property as “vuilplasie” meaning “dirty little farm”.
Founded in 1989, Mulderbosch quickly captured the attention and respect of the wine world with their racy Sauvignon Blanc, helping to create a reputation for South Africa as a source of world-class wines. Widely recognized as one of South Africa’s finest producers, Mulderbosch has attained great critical and commercial success, crafting an award-winning range of wines that consistently earn top ratings and Wine Spectator “Smart Buy” and “Outstanding Value” accolades. The brand’s distinctive labels were designed by former cellar master Mike Dobrovic, who found inspiration in a Cuban cigar band.
It was in this earth that one of the Cape’s most successful partnerships turned Mulderbosch around. Winemaker Mike Dobrovic, better known as Mr. Sauvignon Blanc SA, joined Larry and together they cleaned up the property and planted the first vineyards. A cellar was later built and Mike set about creating the first wines – a Sauvignon Blanc, a Blanc Fumé and a Chardonnay. Little did they know that the wines that they would produce would attract glowing accolades and a clutch of awards, as well as a surge of international orders.
In 1996 Larry sold the farm to a major Pretoria based group called Hydro Holdings. Mike stayed on ensuring that none of the magic would disappear from Mulderbosch wines. The new owners, Hydro Holdings, could not be more enthusiastic and supportive. A new, state- of-the-art bottling line was among the improvements that were immediately made to the cellar, as well as extensions to the existing facilities.
Late 2009, early 2010 ushered in a new era in the history of Mulderbosch and sister winery Kanu with Managing Director (and former partial shareholder) Ben Truter and his family trust taking control of the company. Mike Dobrovic decided it was time to let go and opted for a more relaxed lifestyle. Mulderbosch had moved from cottage industry to resoundingly successful winery with global demand. It was a natural progression that Richard Kershaw take over the helm and he was duly appointed group cellar master for Mulderbosch and Kanu. Annalie van Dyk and Alexandra McFarlane currently serve as assistant winemakers at Mulderbosch.
Terroir Capital, the California-based investment group focused on wine-related hospitality, recently purchased Mulderbosch Vineyards.
The Terroir team is headed by American Charles Banks, former partner in cult California Cabernet producer Screaming Eagle. The freshly inked deal closed in June.
Mulderbosch has been imported into the US by premier South African importer Cape Classics for nearly two decades and has become one of the most sought-after and widely available premium South African wine brands in the American market. Widely recognized both at home and abroad as one of South Africa’s top wine producing estates, Mulderbosch was recently invited to participate in Wine Spectator’s first-ever “New World Wine Experience” as well as the elite Davos du Vin conference in Lake Como, Italy.
The Mulderbosch production team will remain in place under the new ownership, whilst Terroir plans to bring some fresh perspectives and new approaches to the brand. Adam Mason along with consultation from Andy Erickson, the winemaker for Screaming Eagle and other blue chip California estates, will lead the winemaking team, beginning with the 2011 vintage.