This year’s Nederburg Auction may not have set the bean counters into a state of fiscal arousal, but a damn fine day it was. Very civilised, cordial and polite thanks to splendid weather and a paucity of the pissed and cantankerous individuals that often use events of this nature to seek attention. The modest catering also led to one having a light, unsluggish feeling throughout the Auction and its attractions. Of these, the fashion show was spot one, with Michelle McLean in all her babeness as well as the upfront Minki van der Westhuizen. (Nice hooters, Minki but real Wednesday legs – when’s ‘dey gonna break.) Those who found the fashion gig a bit boring had the opportunity of traipsing to the Manor House where massages were being handed out, and with Nederburg’s East European influence, this looked promising.
In a year that marks the 35th year of the Nederburg Auction and the 350th year of South African winemaking, overall income at the 35th Nederburg Auction in Paarl on Saturday, 12th September, 2009, fetched just over R4 million, compared with last year’s R4,79-million.
According to auction organizers, considering the present economic conditions and highly competitive trading environment in the South African and international wine market, the overall result, approximately 16% less than last year, exceeded expectations., MD of Distell Mr Jan Scannell expressed his satisfaction with the results of the auction, stressing the fact that the Nederburg Auction is a showcase of South Africa’s finest rare wines and shows the trust that buyers have in the selection of wines presented.
Overall a slight downward trend on average prices was evident across all categories, although results fetched in the fortified wine and port categories showed some growth.
Three supermarket groups have dominated the portfolio of buyers across the top 15 category, taking 38% of the sales directly to the consumers. The combined purchases of the SPAR Group place them into the overall first position with total purchases of R573 770, closely followed by Makro with R544 880 and Checkers with R410 850.
Five international buyers were responsible for 25% of total sales. This included C.A. Sales & Distribution from Botswana, the Tesco Wine Club from the UK, Amka Vinimport from Denmark, Woermann Brock from Namibia and Juric Imports from Zambia.
Three hotel groups were next in line taking more than R270 000 of wine into the hospitality business. They were Sun International, the new Taj Hotel in Cape Town and Singita Game Reserve.
Comparing average prices to last year, the nine-litre case price this year was R1 099, compared to R1 270 in 2008.
The average price paid for a dry white wine was R842 per nine-litre case, with the top price paid for two wines – Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2006 and Vergelegen White 2005 – at R250 a bottle. Other top prices went to Uva Mira Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Mulderbosch Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2005 and Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2001.
With the average price for red wine at R1 136 per nine-litre case, a single case of 6 x 375ml bottles of Chateau Libertas 1959 fetched the highest price of R23 000 (R3 833 per half bottle), the highest ever in the history of the auction. Other reds that fetched top prices included Chateau Libertas 1962, Zonnebloem Cabernet 1965 and 1967, Rustenberg John X Merriman 2001 and Kanonkop 1994.
The highest price for the rare Monis Collectors Port Stamp Collection 1948 was R11,000. The second highest price for port was R5 500 for the rare Nederburg Reserve Port 1964 and the KWV 1949 Port fetched R3,600. All the port wines are packed in 6 x 750 ml cases. The average price of port per nine-litre case was R1, 890.
The highest price paid for a Noble Late Harvest wine was R3 500 for 12 x 375ml of Nederburg Edelkeur 1979. Other top prices went to Nederburg Eminence 1991 and Lord Neethling Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2004. The average price for noble late harvest wine was R1, 694 per nine-litre case.
The average price for fortified wine was R833 per nine-litre case, with the highest price for Weltevrede Rooi Muskadel 1993 at R110 a bottle.
The Director-General of the Department of Trade & Industry, Mr Tshediso Matona, was this year’s keynote speaker.
Mr Matona, who is also currently the director of the Trade and Industrial Policy Secretariat (TIPS), said in his address that the role of government is to ensure that the industry is run professionally and in accordance with the best social and ethical standards. “We would like to encourage you, working with ourselves, to find additional, innovative ways in which we can change perceptions about the use of liquor.” He concluded by saying; “Let me say that our wine industry is the object of our national pride. The celebration of 350 years of winemaking must be the object of international admiration and envy, and 35 years of the Nederburg Wine Auction is proof of the staying power and reputation of this event and is another medal of pride.”
The charity sale on the day raised R208 300 for the beneficiaries, the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, Mothers2Mothers, and the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa. The highest price paid on the charity auction was for a set of Nederburg Tribute Shiraz 2007, bottled in eight different sized bottles, which fetched R25 000 and was bought by Jagdish Shah from C.A. Sales & Distribution from Botswana.
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