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Van Loveren enters cider market in partnership with Loxtonia

A strategic partnership between two established family-owned businesses, Loxtonia Cider and Van Loveren Family Vineyards, bodes well for significant growth in the South African premium cider market and paves the way for global expansion.

This new partnership sees the collaboration of two like-minded businesses with strong family oriented values and deep ties to farming communities in the Western Cape.

Nurtured from ‘orchard to bottle’ by the Whitfield family on their apple farm in the Ceres Valley, Loxtonia Cider is a flag bearer for sustainability and has grown into a trusted premium cider brand in just over four years.

Sharing similar values, Van Loveren, Africa’s leading family-owned private wine business situated in the Robertson Valley, has been in the Retief family for over three generations.

“This strategic partnership opens up new opportunities in terms of distribution and accessibility that will take our premium ciders to the next level,” says Loxtonia founder and chief cider maker, Larry Whitfield.

“We believe that the Retiefs of Van Loveren are a natural fit for us as it allows us to remain true to our agricultural roots and ‘orchard to bottle’ premise, while letting us tap into their vast expertise in finding new routes to market on the local front as well as opening up export opportunities,” he adds.

Widely acclaimed for their quality and premium wine offering, Van Loveren export their products to more than 68 countries and are market leaders in many categories. The partnership with Loxtonia marks Van Loveren’s first foray into the cider market.

Opening new opportunities

“Our partnership with Loxtonia supports Van Loveren’s growth strategy, specifically as far as growing our premium offering is concerned, and further expansion into the non-wine liquor category,” says Phillip Retief, MD of Van Loveren Family Vineyards.

“The unique market position Loxtonia has, being made from 100% apples, completely natural with no preservatives etc, was particularly attractive to us. A further synergy was that Loxtonia is family-owned, and we very well understand the culture, dynamics and sentiments that drive such a business,” he concludes.

What started as a passion project for Whitfield, with support on the marketing side from daughter Alexandra, has seen Loxtonia become South Africa’s top achieving premium cider.

Accolades across its range of ciders from prestigious local and international competitions include ‘best cider in the world’ at London’s International Cider Challenge, and numerous medals at the World Cider Awards including Gold for best label design.

Loxtonia is made entirely from naturally fermented, freshly pressed apples grown on the family farm. A philosophy of nurturing the complete cider making process from ‘orchard to bottle’ is the core of the business, starting with the soil and sustainable farming practices and ending with the cider in the bottle.

Recycling, composting and a substantial investment into solar power further attest to the Whitfield’s overarching commitment to sustainability.

Loxtonia has a wide range of premium ciders to suit every palate that can be tasted at the cidery in Ceres. For more information, visit https://www.loxtonia.co.za/

Image caption above: From left to right: Phillip Retief, Van Loveren MD, Larry Whitfield, founder and chief cider maker at Loxtonia Cider, and Bussell Retief, production director at Van Loveren.

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