Times may be tough, but this year’s Cape Winemakers Guild Auction showed there’s still money available for good wines.
The almost 3000 cases of wine on offer fetched a record total of R5,28 million, at an average price of R1800 for a six-bottle case. That’s R300 a bottle, which in some cases was an absolute bargain.
Remember, these wines are made with extra care, and in limited quantities, specially for the auction. It’s an opportunity for winemakers to be truly creative – and also to show fellow guild members what they’re capable of.
This is important, as guild membership is not regarded lightly.
Membership is by invitation only, and is only considered when a winemaker as produced exceptionally high quality wine for a minimum of five years.
It’s no wonder the bidding was brisk and competitive. These are no ordinary wines.
The 2011 catalogue contained 38 red wines,13 white wines, two méthode cap classique sparkling wines and a pot-still brandy.
The auction is open to anybody who wants to bid, unlike the Nederburg Auction, which is for licensed wine retailers only.
So here we have buyers who have tasted the wines and want to add them to their collections for their own enjoyment.
There were 122 buyers bidding this year, 19 of whom came from overseas.
This year’s top price – a record R6000 a six-bottle case went to Boekenhoutskloof’s 2009 Syrah Auction Reserve, which was bought by a Belgian buyer.
(Overseas sales were double those of last year.)
Top local buyer, for the 10th consecutive year, was Alan Pick of The Butcher Shop and Grill, who spent about R1,3 million.
Other wines that fetched high prices included Kanonkop CWG Pinotage 2009 with an average price per case of R3 843, Hartenberg Estate Auction Shiraz 2009 selling at R3 264, Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2008 at R3 237, Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2009 at R3 212, Neil Ellis Rodanos 2007 at R3 125 and the Saronsberg Die Erf Grenache 2010 averaging at R2 677.
Top selling white wines included the Jordan Chardonnay Auction Reserve 2010 with an average price per case of R2 285, Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2009 at R2 100, the Cape Point Vineyards Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2010 at R1 822.
From a personal point of view, I thought the Boplaas Auction Reserve 10-Year-Old Potstill Brandy was the bargain of the day. I kept sneaking back to the tasting room to make absolutely sure it was as good as I remembered it from the previous time. It always was.
It went for R300 a bottle. That’s a gift!
In addition to the main auction, a total of R132 600 was raised in aid of the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, a scheme to help promising young winemakers qualify and study overseas as well as locally.