Wine Buyers Pay Record Case Prices at South African Auction

  • Hotel and gaming company Tsogo Sun biggest buyer for 2nd year
  • Single-day auction raised $867,000; average case cost $337

The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction, one of South Africa’s biggest wine sales, sold cases on Saturday at record prices about 10 percent higher on average than the previous year, with hotelier Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. the biggest buyer.

The single-day auction, which took place at the Stellenbosch Winelands, about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) outside Cape Town, raised 11.82 million rand ($867,000), according to a statement by Cape Winemakers Guild. That’s lower than in 2014 as there were 264 fewer cases, the company said. This year’s show auctioned 55 wines including 34 red, 17 white, three Méthode Cap Classique and one dessert wine.

Tsogo, South Africa’s biggest hotel and gaming company, was the biggest customer for the second consecutive year with total purchases of more than 2 million rand, according to the statement.

South Africa is the world’s seventh-biggest producer of wine by volume, representing 4 percent of global output last year. The country grows white wine grapes, including chenin blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and its red varieties include pinotage, which was created in South Africa. The country’s almost 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) of vineyards are mostly concentrated in the Western Cape and the industry employs 300,000 people.

This year’s auction was attended by 131 local and 22 foreign buyers from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark. Outside visitors accounted for about 16 percent of sales. In total, 2,569 cases were sold at an average price of 4,599 rand per case.

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