Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Record sales at the 2014 Cape Winemakers Guild Auction

This year was the first year in which we had been able to accept the invitation to attend the CWG auction, as we were always working on Saturdays. It was a really thrilling experience. The lots went for such amazing prices that, even though we had a paddle and had intended to bid on a couple of items, they went way above our estimates and our budget. We tried to bid on the silent auction, but all our bids were topped. Everyone was in a spending mood.

It was really refreshing to see such happy faces on the winemakers in the lounge after their lots had been sold. Etienne le Riche received a record breaking price of R7000 per 6 bottle case on the very first lot of the auction. Not all the potential buyers had such happy faces. And it just continued all day. Lynne was tweeting the average lot prices as they happened and logging the “million” marks as they were reached. Some were achieved in only 20 minutes and the auction made a record total of R11 929 600 (2013 total was R8.4 million)
Breakfast awaited our early arrival at 08h30. Pot breads and bread sticks
Banting, pastry free, bacon, cheese and spinach quiches
A selection of muffins
Slightly singed pecan and apple Danish pastries
Two young wine experts: Tawanda Marume from Wine Concepts and Gregory Mutambe, sommelier at the 12 Apostles Hotel, who bought a few lots at the auction
There were some wines coming up at auction later that could be tasted. Here Sue Proudfoot of Wine Concepts reminds herself of one of them
Francois Rautenbach of Singita and Stephanus Eksteen of Checkers were two buyers seen here celebrating with Gary Jordan, owner/cellarmaster of Jordan Estate in Stellenbosch
Friendly faces at the tasting
The silent auction had some amazing items you could bid for. Over and above the main auction, a record amount of R228 700 was raised on the day in aid of the Cape Winemaker's Guild Protégé Programme, a mentorship initiative for young, upcoming winemakers and viticulturists. This year's special item sold at the Charity Auction, a one-of-a-kind 18-litre 2012 Members' Reserve, comprising a blend of top wines from all 45 members of the Guild, was purchased for yet another record breaking price of R80 000

The silent auction table had a great selection of wines for which one could bid. Sadly, none of our bids succeeded this time
The Auction was opened by CWG’s current Chairman, Andries Burger, cellarmaster at Paul Cluver
Mike Brown, Chief Executive of CWG Auction Sponsor, Nedbank
Henré Hablutzel of Hofmeyr Mills, Auctioneers for the 17th consecutive year, attracted 156 local and 22 foreign buyers. In total, 2 833 cases (6 x 750ml equivalent) were sold at an average price of R4 210 per case and an average price per bottle of R701.82
The bidding begins
Mark Norrish of Ultra watches the bidding. Is he going to bid on this lot?
Miguel Chan of Tsogo Sun hotels, who were the biggest bidders this year
Neil Proudfoot of Wine Concepts, waiting for an opportunity
Journalist Norman MacFarlane, with his wife Eppie, seem amused at the prices
Shall we bid on this? Philip and Sandra Engelen. Philip is the President of the Cape Town Club
Gavin Ferreira and Greg Mutambe of the 12 Apostles Hotel get a successful bid recognised
David Brice of The Wine Cellar
Tatiana Marcetteau, head sommelier at The Taj Hotel, Cape Town
Louis Strydom telling us about this years Auction Charity item, the 18 Litre Bottle of CWG Members reserve 2012, which sold for a phenomenal R80 000
One of this year’s Protégés, Rudiger van Wyk
The Charity 18 Litre bottle
The two together
He is joined by other Protégés
Adi Badenhorst never fails to amuse and entertain
We take a break for some lunch and enjoy some sun on the terrace
Two smiling faces: Louis Nel of Louis Wines and Nicky Versfeld of Lanner Hill, caught smoking and hiding the cigarettes behind their backs like naughty schoolboys
Neil Pendock takes a rest from the auction
Stephanus in conversation with Johan Joubert, lately cellarmaster at Kleine Zalze, who has moved to Boland Kelder
A lineup of wines for lunch
Back to continue bidding, Stephanus with Francois Naude and Cathy Jordan
The auctioneer accepts that bid
James Brown of Hartenberg
The auction is over, the last bid has been made and the phenomenal total made is R11 929 600. We cannot wait for next year’s auction. Thank you to all concerned, it has been a great experience

The team from Tsogo Sun, the biggest buyers at this and the Nederburg Auction, with CWG Chairman Andries Burger
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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