September 2016 saw the country’s premier wine event take place at Nederburg in Paarl.
Buyers from all over the world—and locally of course—came together to bid for the very best wines we have to offer. And what an occasion it was –as usual.
Rain the first day put no damper whatsoever on the ebullient mood of the crowd, who snacked on canapes and later were treated to lunch devised by some top chefs including Uber Chef himself, Bertus Basson.
The best bubbly flowed even while the auction was on adding to the festive mood. However things were deadly serious when it came to money and the mood was electric while the two auctioneers Anthony Barne and David Eslwood showed us how it’s really done.
When the dust cleared the following facts emerged:
- The auction cleared a grand total of R7 593 000.
- Leading the charge for South African whites was the De Wetshof Chardonnay Finesse 1993 vintage, which reached a record price of R2,000 per 750ml bottle
- A total of 18 lots were sold at the annual Nederburg Charity Auction, which raised just over R500 000 for two community-based organisations, the Breytenbach Centre in Wellington and the Hope Through Action project in Paarl. The highest price achieved was R70,000 paid for a single 750ml bottle of Petrus, 1988, signed by Christian Moueix that was donated by auctioneer Anthony Barne MW.
- A total of 10,506 litres of wine was knocked down by auctioneers Anthony Barne MW of Bonhams and David Elswood of Christies, with total sales increasing by 23% over last year, in spite of a slightly lower volume on offer of 4% from the 2015 edition. “It is a clear endorsement from buyers worldwide, indicating that a strong appetite exists for fine, mature South African wines and that they are willing to back it up with their wallets,” said Auction manager Dalene Steyn.
All in all a spectacular couple of days in the iconic setting of Nederburg—great food, great wine, a buzz that is not duplicated anywhere else on the SA wine scene.
Words: Greg Landman