SA wines whet palates

ELEGANT OCCASION: Songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka enjoys a quiet moment with Nederburg auction manager Christine Joubert. 05/10/07. © Sowetan.
ELEGANT OCCASION: Songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka enjoys a quiet moment with Nederburg auction manager Christine Joubert. 05/10/07. © Sowetan.

The yearly Nederburg Wine Auction characteristically drew - so to speak - birds of the same feather to the Cape winelands at the weekend and many, not surprisingly, with as much appetite for fashion as for the fermented grape.

The yearly Nederburg Wine Auction characteristically drew - so to speak - birds of the same feather to the Cape winelands at the weekend and many, not surprisingly, with as much appetite for fashion as for the fermented grape.

Fast becoming the playground of the rich and famous in South Africa, the yearly event showcases the cream of the country's wines to local and international buyers.

At the end of the hectic bidding at the 33rd auction, a total of R5,13million - compared with last year's R6,96million - had been spent on rare wines.

Perhaps a surprising feature was that vodka-imbibing Russians are developing a healthy appetite for South African wines, buying 6,5percent of the nectar on auction.

And for the first time in the history of the auction, a restaurant chain became the biggest buyer. Cape Town Fish Market stocked up on 884 cases at R654220, representing more than 12percent of total sales.

Pick 'n Pay, Checkers, Makro and Ultra were among the top 10 buyers.

Guest speaker Mutle Mogase, executive chairman of the South African black-owned private equity fund Vantage Capital, urged the industry to "start applying the same energy to the education of wine marketers as it has to winemakers and wine production over the past 10 years".

Close on R400000 was raised for three charity groups - the Hospice Palliative Care Association of S outh A frica, the Organ Donor Foundation and a non-governmental, HIV-Aids support organisation, Mothers2Mothers.

High-profile personalities in attendance included Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Oscar Pistorius, Mark Fish, Pierre Spies, Paul Adams and Justin Kemp.

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