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Our Story

One of South Africa’s top independent wine retailers, Frogitt & Vonkel was launched in 2005 when John Woodward moved from the United Kingdom, via a 5 year stint in Dubai, to South Africa and saw the potential in the market to open a private wine merchant company.

 

The Frogitt & Vonkel story stretches across 3 continents, many decades and a two generations. The Woodward family’s establishment as purveyors of exclusive premium wines began in the early 1970’s when David Woodward; John’s father, began selling German and French estate wines through private samplings in the home counties of the United Kingdom.

 

The Woodward family then relocated to the United States in 1977 taking with them the passion and unique concept behind the business and most importantly, the highly valued relationships they had with key wine producers. This move resulted in private customers being catered to by the Woodward’s from Chicago – Illinois, to Kansas City – Missouri and finally San Francisco – California.

 

Returning to England in 1988, the family business continued, firstly as Woodward Wines and finally as Catchpole & Frogitt. Across the seas, from the United Kingdom to the United States and here in South Africa, Frogitt & Vonkel’s clientele list has included senior politicians, captains of industry, sporting heroes, top musicians, leading broadcasters and even best-selling authors. 2023 was a pivotal year for Frogitt & Vonkel. Having weathered the storm of COVID, John’s long-standing friend and former colleague from his Dubai days, Stephen Lee, bought in to the company. The pair then immediately acquired Rosendal Wines, a local South African producer of a similar age to F&V that also used a direct-to-consumer model and complimented the F&V operations perfectly. The acquisition brought over 5,000 new customers to Frogitt & Vonkel overnight, and also placed the company within the realm of “wine producer” with Head Winemaker, Therese De Beer, able to craft award-winning wines perfectly matched to the demands of our private customers.

 

We are proud of our long history of supplying premium wines to the discerning customer and look forward to assisting you in selecting the perfect wines.