The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley proved to be a great wine destination once again, when three producers made Hermanus proud with their remarkable performances at the 2020 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. 

Having achieved record amounts for his wine at the 2020 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Bartho Eksteen has proven that the success of his Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc is no fluke! A legendary trailblazer of Sauvignon Blanc in the Walker Bay wine region, he continues to set the bar higher with each new vintage. PHOTO: Hedda Mittner

Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2019 earned a maximum price of R8 500 per 6-bottle case, Newton Johnson Vineyards Windansea Pinot Noir 2017 a maximum of R8 000 per 6-bottle case and the Bartho Eksteen Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (wooded) a record-breaking R7 000 for a 6-bottle case.

“This is great news for Sauvignon Blanc,” says Bartho (aka ‘Monsieur Sauvignon Blanc’), who also achieved the highest bids on auction for this varietal in 2017 and 2018.

The 36th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction hosted by Bonhams in London on 3 October made history with record average prices per case being achieved across the board. An unprecedented and challenging year called for an innovative and charitable approach that resulted in two separate and distinctive online auctions raising a staggering total of R5.15 million.

The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction alone raised R4.1 million. Vastly different to previous years, the 2020 Auction included only 564 cases (6 x 750ml). This comprised 17 red wines, one fortified wine (a Cape Vintage); and 11 white wines that included two Méthode Cap Classique wines.

The Vinotheque Auction had a two-week run-up to Auction day and concluded with an incredible total of R816 100 being raised for the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust and its Protégé Programme, aimed at nurturing young winemaking talent and supporting wine industry jobs. All the wines for this auction comprised previous CWG Auction greats donated from members’ personal cellars.

Here Bartho broke another record by achieving an astounding R12 000 for a 6-bottle case of his Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc from six different vintages (2013 – 2018). “That bidder must have had an enormous thirst to be paying R2 000 per bottle!” Bartho quipped.

In support of fellow Guild member Samantha O’Keefe of Lismore Estate near Greyton, who lost her home, winery, and vineyards in a devastating fire earlier this year, the guild members donated the income from the first case of each of their wines on auction to her. This gesture raised an amount of R223 300.

CWG Chair Andrea Mullineux said that this could only have been possible with the team spirit so evident amongst those involved in the Guild. “It is vital to work toward a common goal together and to support one another, especially through these unprecedented times, for the greater good of our beautiful South African wine industry.”

The interest in South African wines was widespread this year. While 65% of sales went to South African bidders, the balance of the wine went to bidders in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Hong Kong, USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and Belgium. A record number of 163 bidders registered this year, with 82 from South Africa and 81 buyers from across the globe.

The annual Nedbank CWG Auction raises international awareness of the outstanding quality of Cape wines. PHOTO: Supplied

According to Bonhams Global Director of Wine and Master of Wine, Richard Harvey, an important aim of the annual Nedbank CWG Auction is to raise international awareness of the outstanding quality of Cape wines. “I’m very pleased to say that by attracting a host of new bidders from around the world, we’ve been able to extend the auction’s international reach even further this year,” Harvey said.

The results achieved are a good indication of the world-class quality of wines produced by the Guild members, the immense diversity of South African wines and the continued commitment towards producing classic, characterful and innovative wines.

For more information, visit www.capewinemakersguild.com.

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