It’s been a breakthrough year for South African wine at the 40th Nederburg Auction with presented wines turning a corner and proving their worth with record prices. A record average price per litre of R597.36 was achieved, a 68.5% increase on the previous year.
“This is indicative of strong demand for premium South African wine, underpinned by a record average price per litre achieved and no unsold lots,” says Auction Manager Dalene Steyn.
“South African wine has long been undervalued and this year’s edition proved to be a correction of this trend. This also recognizes the exceptional quality of the wines on offer,” she says.
Despite tough local market conditions, bidding illustrated an appetite for rare quality wines, as illustrated by the record price per litre achieved for both the red and white categories, and record prices achieved for a Chenin and Noble Late Harvest.
The latter fetched R6,444 for 12 x 375ml bottles of Nederburg Edelkeur 1979, the best price ever for this varietal. This sale took the Nederburg Auction to a total of just over R7 million as the last item in the line-up to be auctioned over the two days.
South African buyers again trumped their international counterparts, with Tsogo Sun taking top honours (with R 723 900), followed by Juric Imports & Exports and the Spar Group. Singita, last year’s top buyer, was in at fourth place. Taiwan, one of several new international countries on the buyers’ list, came in at number three.
Garry Reed, Southern Sun The Cullinan GM and Tsogo Sun spokesman, said the quality of wines on offer support the hotel group’s strategy: “At Tsogo Sun we have a commitment to our guests and partners to deliver the finest beverage and food experience in South Africa.”
Demand drove price with bidders paying a premium of 215.2% on the 2014 reserve price, compared to 91.7% on the 2013 reserve price.
Distell MD Richard Rushton said this performance provided a platform on which its African and international expansion will be built. In his opening address, Rushton said the Auction was a celebration of the very best that South African wine has to offer. “The final wines that go on auction are chosen by an expert panel of local and international wine judges who taste blindly with independently audited results. So we think it really does showcase our very finest as an industry.”
The charity sale raised R209 000 for the beneficiaries, Hope Through Action and the Breytenbach Centre, with charity auctioneer Ken Forrester knocking down amongst other items, 12 x 750ml bottles of Nederburg Vintage Cabernet 1975 for R47 500 and the Van Ryn’s Charentaise Collection of 10-year-old potstill brandy for R25 000.