Watch out for the backlash from Wine Estate owners. For the CWG Auction that broke all records today (R6.3 million well before 2pm) confirms that the face of SA fine wine has changed forever. As Waterfront retailer Vaughan Johnson (below) commented “I battle to sell wine for R100 a bottle, yet here you can’t buy it for R700. What is going on?”
The answer is the CWG has become a brand that sprinkles fairy dust on its celebrity members. Private buyers own the event – many spending Euros – plus a few brave restaurateurs laying in stock they will need to sell for many thousand Rand a bottle. As one of the several Swiss buyers commented “I really can’t understand the premium of red over white as many of the whites are better wines.”
Eben Sadie – a Swartland surfing God who has turned down multiple approaches from the Guild to join – and André van Rensburg of Vergelegen who quit, are arguably the most gifted brace of winemakers in SA. Yet they will rue the day they shook the trail dust of the CWG from their crocs.
Sponsor Nedbank will be smiling all the way to the bank as they now own the most valuable marketing real estate in SA wine. RMB will rue backing WineX, ABSA will be aghast that they fell for the savoury charms of Pinotage while Standard will be shattered that they allowed their Diners Club subsidiary to stake the house on Platter, a wine guide whose sighted tasting methodology is indefensible, especially when the Platter 2012 Winery of the Year is owned by a DC director. Of course Boekenhoutskloof is now very much in the shade of CWG member Marc Kent which won’t play well in Sandton advertising boardrooms.
Urgent calls to Mr. Delivery delivered a cup cake fairy (above, left) who kept himself busy papping Gary Jordan and I. Thanks heavens the parking space for broomsticks was not full!