I attended the 39th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction which was held 6 & 7 October 2023 at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West, South Africa. With tumbling sales records, delectable food, and rare wines available for tasting, this annual event once again proved to be an unforgettable experience. The annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction serves as an ideal platform for wine enthusiasts and investors to acquire exclusive South African wines at primary market prices.
Wine enthusiasts, both local and international, gathered to celebrate and invest in South African wines though I would have liked to see more international buyers taking interest.
A Global Auction with Far-Reaching Impact
The auction saw a total of 96 successful bidders, with 58% of sales going to South African buyers. International wine enthusiasts also eagerly participated, with 24% of wines finding homes in the UK, 3% in Denmark, and 2% in the Netherlands.
Registered bidders came from all corners of the globe, representing countries such as Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Czechia (Czech Republic), Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and the USA.
A Whopping R14.788 Million Raised
The total amount raised at this year’s auction reached an impressive R14,788,000. This came from the sale of 1,792 cases (6 x 750ml) of wine, with an average price per case of R8,252. Notably, red wines fetched an average of R8,814 per case, while white wines averaged R7,372 per case.
Exceptional Wines and Record-Setting Prices
A total of 39 wines from 31 esteemed Guild members were up for bidding. These included 15 white wines and 24 red wines, all exclusively crafted for this event by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild, renowned for their excellence in winemaking.
The excitement reached its peak when several wines set new records for their categories. Notable mentions include:
- Cabernet Franc: Leeu Passant Franschhoek Hillside Cabernet Franc 2021 from Andrea Mullineux sold at a staggering R25,000 per case (6 x 750ml).
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Hartenberg Wine Estate CWG Auction Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 from Carl Schultz fetched an impressive R16,000 per case.
- Cape Tawny: Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Tawny Colheita 2007 by Carel Nel achieved a remarkable R13,999 per case.
- Cap Classique: Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs Cuvée 108 Chardonnay 2014 by Pieter Ferreira sold for an astounding R10,000 per case.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Bartho Eksteen Wine Estate Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc – Wooded 2022 also hit the R10,000 mark.
- Semillon Gris: Andrea Mullineux’s Mullineux Swartland “The Gris” Old Vines Sémillon 2022 reached a remarkable R17,500 per case.
- Tempranillo: David Finlayson Wines Inkunzi Tempranillo 2018 was highly sought-after, selling at R9,499 per case.
The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction is an immersive experience
The auction not only allowed bidders to taste the wine but to also sample some incredible food from top-awarded restaurants in the area like Delaire Graff and Jordan Wine Estate.
The room itself was set up professionally and each bidder was given a booklet for which to follow along, professionally run by Strauss & Co.
Reflecting on Excellence
Gordon Newton-Johnson, Cape Winemakers Guild Chair, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Each member of the Cape Winemakers Guild consistently strives for excellence in the art of wine as individuals and together, uplifting each other as well as those who are the future of the wine industry. We are thrilled that this trajectory of excellence sparked the interest of buyers from 24 countries and continues to entice loyal support among South African wine lovers.”
A Hybrid Auction Format
This year’s auction adopted a hybrid format, accommodating both in-person and online participants. The auction was expertly facilitated by Strauss & Co., with directors and seasoned auctioneers Susie Goodman and Bina Genovese, alongside art expert Dr Alistair Meredith and fine wine specialist Roland Peens.
“In the second year of the Strauss & Co Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction partnership, we are delighted by an even more successful auction in 2023,” says Peens. “Prices were 12% up on last year, showing the incredible growth of the CWG brand. These wines are at the top of the industry, produced in small quantities and now have even higher international demand.”
The bidding was nothing short of intense, with participants from over 20 countries placing bids online, via telephone, and through commission bids. It’s safe to say that the auctioneers may need a few days to recover from the exhilarating event.
About the Cape Winemakers Guild
Established in 1982, the Cape Winemakers Guild is a collective of some of South Africa’s greatest winemakers. These 40 winemakers have been recognized for their exceptional craftsmanship and are invited to join the Guild. Membership is extended to winemakers who have produced outstanding wines for a minimum of five years. Guild members have the privilege of submitting wines exclusively for the annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, making it a prestigious event for wine connoisseurs and collectors alike.
Support SA Wine and the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction
Be sure to subscribe to the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction mailers to stay up to date on future events where you too can take part in auctions like this.