A record price of R140,000 was paid for a six bottle case of 1966 Lanzarac Pinotage when South African and Russian bidders went head-to-head for the last item on offer at a record Nederburg Wine Auction at the weekend.

But after that rush of blood, the money was switched from the main auction to the charity auction for, which realised R322,000.

In spite of this R7.5m was realised at the auction - a 7% rise on last year's figures.

Even though there were buyers from 32 countries with paddles, very few foreigners raised them in earnest and 82% of the wine was sold to South African liquor wholesalers, supermarkets and the tourism trade. It was estimated that a total of about 25% of the wine could find its way overseas.

The Makro wholesale group were the biggest buyers this year accounting for 9% of sales - R702,000 for 801 cases, followed by food retailers Pick 'n Pay at R645,740 for 964 cases.

But it was Russian merchant banker, Igor Ledecky (39) and his wife Iveta, who silenced the hall with their purchase of the Lanzerac Pinotage. Over and above that they took home another 259 cases of wine totalling R435,810.

The top 10 buyers purchased about half the wine, with red wine prices up 9%, dry white 4%, semi-sweet white 11%, noble late harvest 10%, port 33% and sparkling wine 26%.