Wendy Appelbaum the Richest Woman in South Africa Making Millions with Wine

Photo: Danie Nel

She is a Philanthropist and an astute businesswoman who has made her mark in South Africa and globally. She is the chair of De Morgenzon Estate, a wine farm and agricultural business in Stellenbosch.Wendy Appelbaum is reported to worth around $170 million dollars.

Her parents are Sir Donald Gordon and Peggy, also entrepreneurs and founders of the Liberty Group. She was born in South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg where she fell in love with sports. As a child and teenager, she played various sports and games including tennis, golf etc.

She holds a degree in psychology from the University of Witwatersrand. Married with two sons, Wendy Appelbaum’s husband is Hylton Appelbaum who manages their wine garden and more.

As a child she always had a dream of owning a wine garden which came true, and she now runs her own wine business. She bought the De Morgenzon wine farm in 2003 which is now ranked as one of the top wine farms in South Africa. Once she admitted that her experience with her father gave her the opportunity to learn about business even though her father is not responsible for her rise to success.

She has used her position to work for many and is a strong philanthropist who donates millions of dollars to many institutions including donating $23 million to fund the creation of the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the Donald Gordon Medical Center. She is also the trustee of one of the largest private charitable foundations in Africa, The Donald Gordon Foundation, as well as the Wendy Appelbaum Foundation, focusing on health, education and women.

She has received several awards including the following: Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World, 2006, International Women’s Forum South Africa Excellent Award in Recognition of a Sterling Contribution to Business and Community, 2012, Forbes Woman Businesswoman of the Year, 2015 and Forbes Africa Woman of the Year, 2015 and more.

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