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CWG hails best ever auction

Records tumbled at the 30th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, which raised R11.9 million (£659,170) as organisers hailed an “unprecedented surge in prices”.

Auctioneer Henré Hablutzel of Homeyr-Mills led the auction
Auctioneer Henré Hablutzel of Homeyr-Mills led the auction

The annual event, which took place at Spier estate in Stellenbosch over the weekend, enjoyed a 42% increase on last year’s sales total as a record 178 buyers from around the world helped to push up prices for the 61 lots.

Three wines – Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2012, Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2011 and Etienne le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2004 – all sold for R8,600 (£475), the auction’s highest ever price for a six-bottle case.

The top performer from the white wines was six bottles of Cape Point Vineyards CWG Reserve White 2013, which sold for R5,600 (£309). In total, 2,833 cases of wine sold for an average bottle price of R702 (£38).

Although 22 foreign buyers took part on the auction, including representatives from Denmark, the UK and the Netherlands, 90% of wines were bought by local buyers. As with last month’s similarly record breaking Nederburg Auction, the top bidder was hotel group Tsogo Sun, which spent nearly R2.47m (£136,479).

In a year that saw organisers introduce a new security seal to prove the authenticity of each bottle auctioned, CWG chairman Andries Burger commented: “The unprecedented surge in prices this year is testament to the high quality standards of our auction wines and the stature and recognition the Guild enjoys from private wine collectors as well as leading trade buyers.”

Suggesting that after 30 years the event had “come of age as a reputable brand”, Burger added: “Our contribution to the South African wine industry through our social responsibility programmes and the development of future winemakers and industry leaders, is tangible and contributes to our high standing and credibility.”

Alongside the main event, a further R228,700 (£12,637) was raised on the day to support the CWG Protégé Programme, which provides young, upcoming winemakers and viticulturists with a mentoring scheme. As part of this fundraising a one off 18-litre “2012 Members’ Reserve” bottle containing a blend of top wines from all 45 CWG members, sold for a record breaking R80,000 (£4,200).

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