Extraordinary visionary and remarkable man
The foundations for the success of the Graham Beck brand were laid in 1983 when the late Graham Beck purchased Madeba, a farm located outside the Western Cape town of Robertson. It was his ardent ambition to establish a world-class winery in this area that saw the erection of a state-of-the-art cellar and groundbreaking tasting facility, ensuring the growing reputation of Graham Beck Cap Classique as a leading international wine destination. The cornerstones of the Beck family ethos were entrenched from the very start – contributing to the passion and dedication that continues to drive the entire team today.
Born in Cape Town, Graham demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills whilst studying commerce at the University of Cape Town. During this time he established a successful home renovation business called Kangra. Graham then ventured into the coal mining business, where he achieved numerous successes. His reputation as a pioneer in the wine industry was preceded by the role he played in the South African economy by spearheading the centralised transportation and export of coal through Richards Bay on the north coast of Kwazulu-Natal.
Graham’s love of horses and racing led to a number of successful stud operations throughout the world. As a result of his global business interests he and his wife, Rhona, divided their time between their homes in South Africa, Britain and America. Their son Antony and his family remains deeply committed to their African roots and continue to generously invest their time, energy and funds in the future success and growth of South Africa. Through their example social development and community upliftment remain core values of the brand.
Always up for a challenge Graham declared the estate’s flagship would be none other than a sparkling wine. Fortuitously the area, with its outstanding climate and rich limestone soils, proved to be ideal for the cultivation of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – two of the three Cap Classique varieties (Pinot Meunier being the third variety, very rarely used in South Africa). Today Graham Beck Cap Classique is considered one of the country’s finest Cap Classique sparkling wines and a serious contender in the international wine arena.
It is also with great fondness that we remember Graham as having an unerring gift for bringing beauty and style into the lives of so many – as did his wife Rhona. Their great affection for works of art, the splendour of Mother Nature and the elegance and grace of thoroughbred horses is evident throughout the Beck family’s estates – both here and abroad. Graham sadly passed on 27 July 2010 at the age of 80, whilst Rhona passed on 9 September 2015 at the age of 78.
We pay tribute to this inimitable man’s unswerving passion for bubbly and celebrate his deep love and appreciation for the finer things in life. Graham’s infectious zest for life uplifted and inspired all those who knew him. As an entrepreneur, pioneer and philanthropist, his legacy lives on.