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Delhi Wine Club
Nederburg returns with Authenticity, Exclusivity and Social Grandeur

Posted: Monday, 16 September 2013 14:49

Nederburg returns with Authenticity, Exclusivity and Social Grandeur

Sep 16: The 39th annual edition of the world’s fifth largest auction held in South Africa - Nederburg Auction - took place on September 6 and 7 with Authenticity as the theme, writes our guest writer Yegas Naidoo who is a regular visitor for several years and feels it was fresh, exciting and full of financial tempo.

Click For Large ViewWhen you are approaching your fourth Decade as a prestigious wine Auction with global stature you are entitled to fine tune your offerings somewhat drastically to maintain freshness, inject excitement and up the financial tempo. The almost turn-around theme for this year’s Auction was Authenticity, selected in order to ensure that volumes do not in any way overshadow exclusivity and quality. The selection this year was intended to be a smaller, “leaner and tighter” choice of truly iconic South African wines. 

The Nederburg Auction comfortably sits as one of the fifth largest wine Auctions in the World, which I have been attending regularly for several years including once with Subhash Arora, editor of delWine and President of the Indian Wine Academy a few years ago during one of his South African visits. The 39th annual edition took place over the weekend of September 6-7 with the paced and more serious business of paddles being raised in the Johanne Graue Auction Hall-famed also for being the venue for South Africa Master Chef competition, and with socials spanning the sprawling manicured grounds of this World renowned wine Estate.

Having spent a week at Nederburg at the end of August during the SAA on board wine judging selection, I was astounded by the almost fairy-tale conversion of the fragmented buildings and the Grand Homestead into an attractive playground for the socially gregarious, large Press contingent, Bloggers and serious Tweeters, loyal followers and of course the serious bidders both local, beyond the African borders and as far afield as Dubai, India and the United Kingdom.

Entry to the Auction has always been strictly controlled but in the recent past this has been even more carefully policed by an advanced cell phone entry code, which is ably processed by iPad wielding personnel who whisk you through without delay if you are able to provide the required golden entry code.

In order to bid at Nederburg one has to normally belong to the Trade, armed with a Liquor Licence. This year the Distell honchos decided to trade quantity for quality in a different strategic approach altogether. The benefits of this have paid off as overall this year saw record prices being paid per litre of wine. The 2013 Auction prices reflected a significant 92% increase on the previous year’s average price.

Click For Large ViewThough offering less than half the volume of last year, the Auction this year achieved R4.38 million* (US $438,000) closely nudging the R4.7 million notched up 12 months ago. The final sales average translated to R355.00 a litre of wine as opposed to R185.00 a litre last year for multi-vintage local wines seriously curated beforehand. In total, 12,000 litres of wine with significant rarity value were offered compared to last year’s less stringently selected 26,000 litres. There were 24 fewer wines selected this year but certainly the number exceeded 15 offered from only 5 participants when the first Auction was held in 1975. 

The 2013 collection included 72 Red wines, 36 White wines, 1 Methode Cap Classique (the terminology developed by South Africans for making sparkling wine with double fermentation, called Methode Champenoise, allowed to be used only by Champagne producers-editor), 8 Dessert wines and 15 Fortified wines. The keynote speaker was USA-based popular wine blogger Joe Roberts.

The highest bid of the Auction emanated from Next International of Nigeria who proffered R22 000.00 for 3 x 750ml of the 1973 Zonnebloem Cabernet followed by another exciting bid of R17 000.00 for 6 x 750ml of 1948 Monis Collectors’ Port.

There is always a frisson of excitement during the Bidding for the Charity Auction and this year was no different. The Charity Auction is held at the close of the Nederburg Auction on Saturday, 7 September, prior to the luncheon. The Charity Auction proceedings go towards the Goedgedacht Trust, the Pebbles Project Trust and the Anna Foundation.

In conclusion, as Auction Manager Dalene Steyn affirms, “We are delighted that the lowering of volumes, brought about by a tough selection panel, paid off. The Rand price per litre is up and that’s a direct result of our tighter auction offering. This is not isolated, as the increase is consistent from lot to lot, with a 91.8% premium attained on reserve prices.”

Yegas Naidoo
*(1 US$=10 Rands)

Yegas Naidoo is a South African Connoisseur of Indian origin, with a passion for wine that takes her to many cities within South Africa and other parts of the world including India where she also has some non-wine related business interests. She runs an airline-related business called Miles for Style, besides her family furniture business in Durban.

Tags: South Africa, South Africa, Nederburg


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