Sales were down at the 33rd annual Nederburg Auction in South Africa, but there was more interest from foreign buyers.
Among the top social events on the wine calendar, the annual Paarl-based auction is designed to showcase both Nederburg’s own wines and those of other producers. Both the number of participants and the quantity of wine are strictly controlled.
But with 17% less wine on offer this year and a lower average price per case of wine, sales were down 11.7%, yielding ZAR5.13 million (£361,560), compared with ZAR6.9 million (£489,231) in 2006.
Overseas buyers increased their purchases to 24%, compared with 16% last year – with Russian buyer Vina Vita taking 238 cases. Africa-based buyers among the top 10 included Sun International Hotel as well as Namibia’s Hotel Pension Palmquell and Heinitzburg Hotel.
‘The auction wasn’t on our radar screen this year,’ said Julia Holbrook, sales and marketing director for London-based SA Wines Online, who will be bidding at next week’s Cape Winemakers Guild auction. ‘But we’d consider it for next year.’
Six bottles of Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1967 achieved the highest price of the auction, ZAR16,000 per bottle (£189). At £236 a bottle, Monis Collectors Port Stamp Collection 1948 set a record for the highest price ever paid for a port-style wine.
Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2004 at £21 a bottle and Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2003 at £19 were the top earners for dry whites.
Some items – including a 225-litre barrel of Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon bought by German importers Mack & Schuhle – were donated to raise funds for various charities. The charity sale achieved £27,439.81.
Written by Maggie Rosen