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South African reds break new ground at Cape wine auction

This year's Cape Winemakers Guild Auction saw a record amount spent with red wines from three estates beating the previous top price for a lot.

Henre Hablutzel of Homeyr-Mills Auctioneers led the 30th Cape Winemakers Guild Auction

Total sales at last weekend’s auction reached ZAR11.9 million (£662,000), the Guild said.

In the 30th anniversary of the sale, sponsored by Nedbank, turnover was 42% up on 2013, thanks partly to three estates each achieving ZAR8,600 (£480) for six-bottle cases of their reds: Etienne La Riche, Kanonkop and Boekenhoutskloof (see list below).

For the whites, top lot was Cape Point Vineyards’ CWG Reserve White 2013 at ZAR5,600 (£312) for a six-bottle case. Boplass’ Ouma Cloete Straw Wine 2013, made in Calitzdorp from sun-dried Viognier grapes, was also a high earner at ZAR7,200 (£402) for a case of six half-bottles.

Held at Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch on 4 October, the auction attracted a record 178 buyers, with 90% of the 61 wines on offer selling to South Africans. The Tsogo Sun hotel group was the top bidder, spending ZAR2.47m (£137,000).

The CWG was founded in 1982 with the aim for members to share knowledge and collectively improve the quality and standing of South African wines. The auction wines are exclusive bottlings made, and also selected blind, by members.

Record donations of ZAR228,700 (£12,700) were raised for the CWG’s Protege Programme – a membership initiative for young winemakers and viticulturalists. A special 18-litre charity auction bottling comprising a blend of all 45 CWG members’ top wines, sold for ZAR80,000 (£4,450).

The top five reds
• Etienne Le Riche, Auction Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2004 – average bottle price R1,433.33 (£80)
• Kanonkop, CWG Paul Sauer (Bordeaux blend), Simonsberg 2011 R1,433.33 (£80)
• Boekenhoutskloof, Auction Reserve Syrah, Coastal Reserve 2012 R1,433.33 (£80)
• Beyerskloof, Traildust Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2012 R1,333.33 (£74)
• Etienne Le Riche, Auction Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2012 R1,233.33 (£69)

The top five whites
• Cape Point Vineyards, CWG Reserve White (Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon), Cape Point 2013 – average bottle price R933.33 (£52)
• Ataraxia, Under the Gavel Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge 2013 R833.33 (£46)
• Jordan, Auction Reserve Chardonnay, Stellenbosch 2013 R833.33 (£46)
• Mullineux, The Gris Semillon, Swartland 2013 R733.33 (£41)
• Cape Chamonix, CWG Reserve Chardonnay, Franschhoek R733.33 (£41)

Written by Tina Gellie

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