Even though the Nederburg Auction was reduced to one day, with only 4,986 9-litre cases coming under the hammer - R7.49m worth of wine was sold.

This is second only to the record R7.58m paid for 8,550 cases of wine in 2003.

The average price of wine for the auction was a record R2,145 for a 9-litre case, with the first South African buyer accounting for 33% of sales, namely liquor store owner, George Naidoo, owner of the Midmar Liquors chain of stores. He acquired 1,438 cases of wine valued at R2.48m.

The highest price ever paid for a white wine was paid for a case of 2004 Warwick "Professor Black" Sauvignon blanc, which fetched R4,300 for a 6X75cl case, with average prices for dry whites up to R1,233 compared with the R645 of last year.

Average prices for red wines doubled to R2,481 compared to R1,208 last year. The highest price paid for a red was R26 000 for the 1962 Nederberg Selected Cabernet Sauvignon. Prices of all other categories were up.

Veteran auctioneer Patrick Grubb received a standing ovation on retiring at the end of 31 Nederburg Auctions, which saw him knock down more than 250,000 cases of wine valued at more than R87m.