More realistic prices were asked for Nederburg Auction wines, which saw prices down about 11% from ZAR6.96m (US$1.1m) last year to ZAR5.13m this year.

There were 17% less wines on auction at this year's event, which was held in South Africa late last month, with 16 fewer bidders compared to 2006.

There was greater interest from foreign wine buyers, who this year purchased 24% of all wine, compared to 16% last year. The lion's share of this went to Russian importer, Vina Vita, which took 6,5% or 238 cases of wine.

Three Namibian-based hotels were also among the top foreign buyers

For the first time in the 33-year history of the auction, a restaurant chain, the Cape Town Fish Market, outbid supermarkets to become the top buyer for this year. It successfully bid for wine to the value of ZAR654,220  for 884 cases, accounting for 12% of product to come under the hammer.

The average price for a 9-litre case of red was ZAR1 559, ZAR853 for white wine, while Port-style wines averaged ZAR1,726.

A record ZAR20,000 was paid for a case of 1948 Monis Collectors Port Stamp Collection Port - ZAR3,333 a bottle.