There was a greater need to market the annual Nederburg Auction overseas after another poor showing by foreign buyers who successfully bid for only 16.26% of the record R6.4m ($0 .79m) worth of wines which went under the hammer this year.

Of those exports, 7.1% went to Namibia and in particular to one specific buyer, the Heinitzburg Hotel group.

Questions were asked why only 2 cases of wines went directly to bidders from the UK, South Africa's biggest export market.

Jan Scannel, MD of Distell, under whom Nederburg resides, said the company would in future be looking at addressing overseas marketing and the structure of the event.

Manager of the auction, Bennie Howard, however, said it was not possible to determine exactly how much of the wine purchased by local bidders eventually found its way overseas after it was sold.

The glamour event on 6 and 7 April saw South African supermarket groups clinching the lions share of auction wines, with Spar Supermarkets becoming the first group to buy more than R1m ($ 0.12m) worth of wine.