30th Nederburg Auction sales top R6,7 million

Monday, 5 April, 2004
Jenny McQueen
'Lower sales value attributed to the strong rand and is a reflection of the current tough trading conditions'

The 30th Nederburg Auction on April 2 and 3 topped sales of R6,7 million - slightly down on last year’s record of R7,5 million.

The lower sales value was due to fewer cases being sold this year, 7 977 (581 cases less than last year), and average prices were down by 11%.

'This can be attributed to the strong rand and is also a reflection of the current tough trading conditions,' said Bennie Howard, Auction manager. The 2-day event was attended by 1 700 buyers and guests from 33 foreign countries.

While local buyers accounted for 87,4% of total sales and foreign buyers 12,6%, this geographic breakdown does not reflect local purchases that will still be exported. The local supermarket retailers and wholesalers continued their dominance of the top ten buyers, accounting for 33% of total sales. The top buyers were Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, Makro, Cape Town Fish Market and The Butcher Shop & Grill, followed by Metro Cash & Carry and SPAR Western Cape.

There were two international buyers in the top ten - Hotel Palmquell in Namibia and wine importer Vina Vita from Russia. Pick ‘n Pay accounted for 10,8% of total sales, followed by Checkers and Makro at 7,9% and 7,2% and the Cape Town Fish Market at 5,3%, while the Park Hyatt Hotel bought 2,3%.

'After 30 years prices at the auction have increased dramatically, The average price in 1975 was R1,50 per bottle, compared with more than R100 per bottle today, confirming the top quality of South African wines.' Overall the highest price paid was R12 000 for the Monis Collectors Port Stamp Collection 1948 (6 x 750 ml).

Top prices for red wines were R6 200 for a Lanzerac Pinotage 1964 (6 x 750 ml); for dry white R1 600 for the Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2001 (6 x 750 ml); and for noble late harvest R1 800 for six 500 ml bottles of De Wetshof Edeloes 1998. The highest price paid for an MCC sparkling wine was R530 for one 3-litre bottle of J C Le Roux Pinot Noir 1990. The highest price paid for a fortified wine was R410 for the Nuy White Muscadel Full Sweet 1997 (6 x 750 ml).

Doyenne of the French wine industry, Madame May de Lencquesaing from Château Pichon Longueville in Bordeaux, was the guest speaker. 'You have taken incredible steps in these past 30 years,' she said. 'This anniversary is the occasion to promote your wines of the highest quality. They are the flagships of South Africa.

'You must go ahead with enthusiasm, energy and excitement, always ready to improve your knowledge. If you work on quality and communication, you can be the leaders.'

Veteran auctioneer Patrick Grubb set a new world record for presiding over the annual wine auction for 30 years, knocking down more than 245 000 cases of wine to the value of over R80 million since its inception.

Another highlight was the symbolic handover of the key to the doors of the new Heritage Centre to Günter Brözel, who was cellarmaster at Nederburg for 33 years. The centre has been named after him as a tribute to his legendary career.

The charity sale raised R245 000 in total, with the highest price being paid for a 300-litre barrel of Nederburg Shiraz 2004 that was bought by Whitey Basson of Checkers. The highest price paid for a case of the special charity wine Nederburg Amateur was R3 500. The beneficiaries were the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa and the Mothers To Mothers AIDS support group. 

Released by Jenny McQueen & Associates for Nederburg Wines
Contact: Bennie Howard, Nederburg Auction Manager
Tel: +27 (0) 21 809-7000

Jenny McQueen & Associates
Tel: +27 (0) 21 439-5063
Email: jenny@mcqueen.co.za

Patrick Grubb
Patrick Grubb

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