Wines Set Record Prices at South Africa’s Stellenbosch Sale

  • Sales at single-day auction climb 17% compared with 2015
  • Hotel company Tsogo Sun is biggest buyer for third year

Prices climbed to records at a weekend auction of some of South Africa’s top wines, with hotel group Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. the largest buyer for the third year.

Sales at the 32nd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction increased 17 percent to 13.83 million rand ($1 million) from a year earlier, the guild said in a statement on its website. The Oct. 1 auction, held at the Spier estate in the Stellenbosch winelands, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Cape Town, generated record prices for red, white and port wines, as well as Methode Cap Classique, a sparkling wine made using the traditional Champagne method.

Local purchasers bought 84 percent of the wines, with Tsogo, South Africa’s biggest hotel and gaming company, spending more than 2.6 million rand, the guild said. Fifty-two wines and a potstill brandy were auctioned.

South Africa is the world’s eighth-biggest producer of wine by volume, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. The country’s white-wine grapes include chenin blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, while red varieties include pinotage, created in South Africa. The country’s almost 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) of vineyards are mostly in the Western Cape province, and the industry employs about 300,000 people.

Overseas bidders accounted for 16 percent of the sales, which totaled 2,428 cases auctioned for an average of 5,697 rand each. The average price per bottle was 950 rand.

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