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SA’s Nederburg Auction bigger than ever

This year's Nederburg Auction will be the biggest ever, featuring a record number of wines from nearly 100 South African wineries.

Some 9603 cases of wine from 96 of South Africa’s most prominent winemakers will go under the hammer in Paarl on 11-12 April. Last year, 84 wineries were represented.

The wines, which must meet strictly applied tasting criteria to win a place at the annual auction, are considered the best the country has to offer, and the words ‘sold at the Nederburg Auction’ on a bottle label are widely seen as a seal of approval.

For the 2003 auction, 175 different wines were judged to have made the grade by the tasting panel.

Fourteen of this year’s chosen winemakers are newcomers to the auction, including Bergsig, Cape Chamonix, Cape Point, Grangehurst, Hazendal, Mooiplaas, Steenberg, SylvanVale and Upland Estate.

Also making its debut is the Nederburg Private Bin Auction Sangiovese/Barbera/Nebbiolo 2001, which is described as ‘probably the world’s first blend of three Italian cultivars’.

Lots likely to stimulate most excitement include Vergelegen Chardonnay Reserve 1999 and 1998 Hazendal Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon red blend, which scooped winemaker Ronel Wiid the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year award in 1999.

Nine ports and five Muscadel/Jerepigo wines make up the fortified category. Among them are the award-winning Bergsig Cape Late Bottled Vintage 1997 and the Monis Port Stamp Collection 1948 vintage.

By tradition, Lanzerav Pinotage wines open and close the bidding. Last year, Lanzerac 1966 attained the highest price for red wine, fetching SAR12,000 (€1,326) per six-bottle case.

‘I am very excited to see such a brilliant variety of top South African wines on auction this year. It offers the auction a marvellous opportunity to showcase our rare and mature wines to the local and international markets,’ said auction manager Bennie Howard.

The 2003 event is the 29th Nederburg Auction, which has seen a steady increase in revenue since its inception in 1975. Last year sales topped SAR7.3m (€0.8m).

Written by Tracey Barker6 February 2003

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