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Wine Buyers Pay Record Prices at South Africa’s Biggest Auction

South Africa’s biggest wine sale at the Nederburg estate outside Cape Town saw prices almost double to a record this month as volumes on offer fell.

Held on Sept. 6 and 7 at the estate in Paarl, northeast of Cape Town, the auction offered 132 wines, including 72 red, 36 white and eight dessert varieties, the auctioneer said in a statement on its website today. The average price per liter climbed 92 percent to 354.64 rand ($35) from a year earlier, it said.

“That’s a direct result of our tighter auction offering,” Dalene Steyn, the auction’s manager, said in the statement. “The buyers were far more informed, knew exactly what they wanted to buy and were prepared to competitively bid on lots.”

The Nederburg auction started in 1975, with 15 wines on show from five farms, and raised an average price per case of 19 rand. This year’s total sales amounted to 4.35 million rand and the two biggest buyers were retailer Spar Group Ltd. and Singita Game Reserve, which manages luxury safari lodges in Africa, according to the auctioneers. The highest price paid was 22,000 rand for three bottles of Zonnebloem Cabernet 1973 by Next International Ltd. of Nigeria.

Wine sales from the auction into the African continent rose 4.7 percent, Jan Scannell, managing director of Distell Group Ltd., which owns Nederburg, said in the statement. International sales outside Africa contributed 8.3 percent of the total, with the biggest contribution came from the United Arab Emirates.

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