A recent article in Fortune Magazine spoke of premium wines in the United States being hit by the recession as wine drinkers switching to less-expensive wines stating “that means vintners who sell wine for $10 or less are raking in money, but everyone else is getting squeezed”.
Whilst that is also true for the South African market, it seems that ultra-premium wine is weathering the recession better.Business Day is reporting that “it took just 45 minutes to reach sales of R1m at this year’s Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction at Spier estate… Thereafter on the hour, every hour, another R1m was knocked down and by 1.45pm the guild’s highest auction total was achieved with R5,2m worth of the country’s finest young wines sold.”
“The average case price for the auction was R2288 compared to R1958 last year.” Business Day reported “The 5% record turnover increase this year is telling in the face of 10% less volume of wine on sale than last year.”
“More buyers bid at this year’s auction than in previous years, and 84% were local. The biggest overseas buyers came from Belgium, the UK, Hong Kong and Denmark, but only one foreign buyer made it to the top 10 list, proving that South Africans will find the money for quality products — perhaps more so in a recession than in the good times.
“‘It’s obvious from this year’s auction results that the sale of quality wines is not affected by the economic downturn and there will always be a demand for individually crafted, specialist wines,’ said auctioneer Henré Hablutzel.”