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Cape Winemakers Guild 2020 auction wines: the first taste

Ahead of South Africa's premier wine sale on 3 October – run this year live and online by Bonhams in London – we preview the 28 wines going under the hammer

This year’s Cape Winemakers Guild Auction is being held in London for the first time in its 35-year history.

Due to the difficulties facing the South African wine industry in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, auction house Bonhams will host the sale, sponsored by Nedbank, both live and online on Saturday 3 October from 12pm London time.

The Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) was founded in 1982, with the first auction in 1985. Membership of the guild is by invitation only, and the 45 winemakers collectively choose the wines for each auction. These exclusive wines are only available via the sale.

This year’s auction comprises 28 wines split into 564 six-bottle cases, compared to 45 wines and 1,932 cases in 2019.

Funds raised by the first case of each of the 28 wines will be donated to CWG member Samantha O’Keefe, whose Lismore Estate in Greyton was destroyed by fire in December 2019.

Old and rare wines

The CWG will also hold a 50-item Vinothèque auction comprising older wines from previous auctions, donated by members from their own cellars.

There are more than 95 lots which include: three magnums of Delaire Graff’s 2016 Banghoek Chardonnay – only six magnums were ever made; a vertical of Kanonkop‘s CWG Paul Sauer from 2010 to 2015; rare Demi-Sec Chenin Blanc from Beaumont and an 1880 Potstill Brandy from Boplass.

Funds raised by this sale will help CWG members’ employees whose livelihoods have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bids can be made via Bonhams website, from 18 September until 4pm on 3 October.

Richard Harvey MW, international director of Bonhams, will hold the main CWG auction from 12pm on 3 October.

Most wines average about £30 a bottle, based on pre-auction estimates of the six-bottle cases. The predicted top lot is Kanonkop’s CWG Paul Sauer 2017, with an average of £86 a bottle based on the estimates.

Bids can be made live at Bonhams’ New Bond St saleroom or by phone or website during the auction. Proxy commission bids can also be made with Bonhams in advance.

Tina Gellie reviews the Cape Winemakers Guild 2020 auction wines, exclusively for Decanter Premium members

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