The exclusive Cape Winemakers Guild realised R2.96m worth of wine at its auction this year compared with R2.64m last year, in spite of the tough trading conditions that prevail in the local "upper-premium" wine market.

The figure was still some way down on the record figures of R3.2m bid on wines in 2002.

Buying by international bidders has dropped significantly over the past three years - in 2002 it accounted for 31% of auction sales, last year that dropped to 28% and this year it made up 21%.

The equivalent of 2,786 X 6-bottles went under the hammer at an average price of R1,063 compared with R1,035 last year.