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Cape Winemakers Guild defies recession with record turnout and highest ever auction sales

Records tumbled at the 25th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction held in the Stellenbosch winelands over the weekend, when a record number of buyers spent over R5,2 million rand on the 2009 lineup of wines made exclusively for the auction by members of the Guild.

Bidding was brisk and the wines fetched unexpected high prices right from the onset culminating in a record turnover of R5,204 400. This represents an increase of over 5% on last year despite the global recession and a 10% reduction in the quantity of wine that went under the hammer this year.
A commemorative 12-litre bottle to celebrate South Africa’s 350 years of winemaking – a singular blend crafted by Guild members whose cumulative experience in winemaking spans 350 years – raised R22 000 in the charity auction in aid of the Nedbank CWG Development Trust. The bottle was purchased by Neil and Sue Proudfoot of Wine Concepts on Kloof. The total raised on the silent auction was R91 600. Founded in 1999, the Development Trust assists with education, training and empowerment of young people from previously disadvantaged wine farming communities and includes the Guild’s Protege Programme, a mentorship scheme for young, upcoming winemakers.
The highest price fetched for a case of wine (equivalent of 6 X 750ml bottles) was R5 200 for Peter Finlayson’s Bouchard Finlayson Unfiltered Pinot Noir 2007(1,5 litre bottles), followed closely at R5 100 by Louis Strydom’s Engelbrecht Els CWG 2007 and Marc Kent’s Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2007, a new vintage of last year’s record holder.
The highest priced white wine was Adi Badenhorst’s Badenhorst Family Wines Kalmoesfontein Semillon Noble Late Harvest 2008 (375ml bottles) which fetched R4 600.
Of the 159 buyers – the most ever to bid at the auction and 59% more than last year – the vast majority, 84%, were local buyers who spent a total of R4, 396 400. Foreign buyers made up the remaining sales totalling R808 000. Alan Pick of The Butcher Shop and Grill triumphed for the 8th consecutive year as the biggest spender at R1, 056 200. Only one overseas buyer made the top ten list which this year included four newcomers to the auction. The biggest overseas buyers came from Belgium, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Denmark.
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