For the third year running, Tsogo Sun is the biggest single buyer in SA’s two leading wine auctions – the 42nd Nederburg Wine Auction and the 32nd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction – representing a total spend of R3 696 800.
The wines will be available on the wine lists of selected Tsogo Sun hotels with a strong existing base of wine-lovers.
Miguel Chan, Tsogo Sun’s group sommelier, who headed the Tsogo Sun buying team, says that special wines add great value to the food & beverage offering at Tsogo Sun’s hotels and restaurants. “Our brief at wine auctions is to buy an outstanding selection of wines at the best possible prices for Tsogo Sun to create great experiences for its guests.”
At the Nederburg auction on 16 and 17 September, Tsogo Sun bought 327 cases of wine totalling R1.08 million and representing 14.3% of the auction’s total sales, up from last year’s percentage of 10.4% of total sales.
A total of 10 506 litres of wine were auctioned with total sales increasing by 23% over 2015 and a slightly lower volume than last year by 4%. Dalene Steyn, Nederburg Auction Manager, says the increase in total sales is a clear endorsement from buyers worldwide. “It indicates that a strong appetite exists for fine, mature South African wines – and that they’re willing to back this up with their wallets.” The auction achieved record prices and an all-time high rand per litre price of R740. The top selling South African white was the De Wetshof Chardonnay Finesse 1993 vintage, which reached a record price of R2 000 per 750ml bottle, and the top red wine was 1976 Zonnebloem Shiraz, which fetched R9 777 per litre, totalling R22 000 for three 750ml bottles.
The CWG Auction saw Tsogo Sun spend a total of R2 616 800, representing 495 cases and a total of 2 970 bottles. Tsogo Sun was once again the highest bidder at the auction, which saw total wine sales of R13 833 400 million – R2 million more than 2015. Commenting on Tsogo Sun’s best purchase of the day at the CWG Auction, Chan says, “We secured 200 bottles of a wooded Sauvignon Blanc from Bartho Eksteen which is absolutely fantastic – truly world class.”
Chan says South African wines often have the edge on international wines because many of our top-rated wines are produced in small quantities. “A prime example is auction wines where the total release of a wine is just 600 bottles. This rarity creates its own demand and buyers are more keen than ever to get hold of a bottle or case for own consumption, for their cellars, or to impress. This adds to the appeal of these special wines on our leading restaurant wine lists.”
He adds that Tsogo Sun has four primary criteria that it considers when buying wines for the group. “The first is quality, the second is terroir, the third is distribution, and the fourth is brand appeal.” He says that wines that fit the criteria, and have a “personality attached to them; a story attached to the bottle or the winery, a story of how the wine was made to get that specific taste profile,” are wines that are likely to be popular across the Tsogo Sun properties.
Says Ravi Nadasen, Operations Director of the Northern Gauteng region for Tsogo Sun, “We opted to base our decisions on the physical attributes of the wines as opposed to the varietals to ensure that the wines keep well over a period of time. We managed to secure some exceptional wines at both auctions that will add great value to our wine lists.”
“South African winemakers on the whole put exceptional care and effort into producing great wines. We’re proud of that – and delighted that this echoes the care we take to select the right wines for our properties, serving them as part of our world-class food & beverage offering,” says Chan.