Landmark prices mark 42nd annual Nederburg Auction

Record prices and an all time high Rand per litre price of R740, achieved at the 42nd annual Nederburg Auction at the weekend, demonstrating the continuing trend of demand in aged, fine South African wine.

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, says Auction manager Dalene Steyn.

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.

Red wine performed particularly well, with a 50% increase in the average price per litre to R961/l. The top red wine fetched an unsurpassed R9,777 per litre paid for 1976 Zonnebloem Shiraz, totalling R22,000 for 3 x 750ml bottles.

Steyn says South African buyers claimed the biggest portion of wine purchases with two thirds of the sales. “International participation however is on the increase with 3% more successful bids by international buyers, totalling 18%.”

Distell Group MD Richard Rushton concurs: I think more and more international buyers are taking a keen interest. They see a massive value in the quality of our wines and are happy to pay fair prices.”

Continuing the trend from last year, more private buyers entered the Nederburg Auction. These buyers accounted for 22% of total sales. Steyn says this was a result of Distell’s strategy of making the Auction more accessible as a platform for collectors buying in their own capacity.

“This resulted in markedly more competitive bidding. We noted an 11% increase in buying from all registered paddles. This is encouraging, and in line with the Distell strategy for the Auction. Further, it shows that our producers are increasingly receiving fair value for what are world-class wines.”

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