Despite a drop of 6% in cases under the hammer there was a 20% increase in prices the NIB Cape Winemakers Guild’s 2002 Auction held at Spier in Stellenbosch at the weekend.

Just under R3.2m (excl VAT) worth of wine went under the hammer compared with R2.8m last year. Domestic wine retailers and restaurateurs led an aggressive buying campaign to ensure some of the country’s top wines were available to local wine lovers.

A total of 27,086 bottle cases went under the hammer, with the average bottle price at R197 compared with R163 last year, a 21% increase. Topping the list was a 2000 Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve at R550 a 750ml bottle. A Vergelegen Schaapenberg Auction Reserve was the top white wine, which fell at R275 a bottle.

Top foreign buyers, who this year made up only 31% of sales compared with 43% last year, were from Sweden, Belgium and Holland.