Tsogo Sun took top honours as the highest bidder for the fourth consecutive year at the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction (CWG), purchasing just under R1.7 million worth of the coveted wines which are made exclusively for the auction by members of the Guild.
Representing around 12% of the total sales of R13 223 200, Tsogo Sun purchased a total of 2 208 bottles of 20 of the finest, most sought-after and rarest South African wines, which will add to the overall dining experience in Tsogo Sun’s fine restaurants (https://www.tsogosun.com/restaurants-bars) for guests. The line-up on auction included 61 wines, with 42 red wines, 19 white wines and a Méthode Cap Classique.
Tsogo Sun’s purchases include a selection of reds, such as the Tokara CWG Tribute Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and Groot Constantia Estate CWG Gouverneurs Auction Reserve Constantia 2014, right through to some exceptional white varietals, such as the Beaumont Family Wines CWG Bot River Chenin Blanc Demi Sec 2016 and Paul Cluver Estate CWG The Wagon Trail Elgin Chardonnay 2016.
Says Ravi Nadasen, COO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, “Tsogo Sun is all about escaping to great experiences. Our strategy, as in previous years was to seek out the best of the best of the 61 wines on offer to. Our selection process is rigorous, with wines tasted up to three times before the auction, both sighted and blind. On the day, our aim was to reach the best possible price per case and we bid strategically as a team to achieve Tsogo Sun’s objective of providing our guests with great experiences in wine.”
Miguel Chan, Tsogo Sun’s Group Sommelier, comments, “The purchases from this year’s Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction will add depth to Tsogo Sun’s existing cellar of auction wines in terms of styles and variety as well as a diversity of prices to suit the budget of our diners. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal wine fundi’s; the support of our guests over the last six months has seen over two thirds of our previous auction purchases being sold out.”
The 2017 Nedbank CWG auction wines will be available at selected Tsogo Sun hotels and restaurants and can be purchased from Café Cru (https://www.tsogosun.com/cafe-cru) at Montecasino in Johannesburg via their off sales license, as well as through Tsogo Sun’s online portal which will go live by November, giving wine-lovers the opportunity to purchase auction wines (https://www.tsogosun.com/restaurants-bars/our-wine) to enjoy at home.
Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 100 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles. For more details, visit https://www.tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter @TsogoSun or like on Facebook /TsogoSun.
Q&A with Tsogo Sun’s Group Sommelier, Miguel Chan
Q: What was the total number of cases of wine purchased?
A: Our final tally was 368 cases or 2 208 bottles of the finest, most sought-after and rarest South African Cape wines, which will add significantly to our guests’ dining experience in our fine restaurants.
Q: Which was the wine you purchased the most cases of?
A: Forty-four cases of The Love Boat White 2016, an unusual white blend that resulted from the friendship between two celebrated CWG members, Adi Badenhorst and Duncan Savage, who, on a working trip to Denmark, rented a boat on AirBnB. When they arrived, they discovered that the boat was so small they had to share a bunker for the rest of the trip. A picture was shared on Facebook and the rest is history… hence the name.
Q: What was the most coveted wine purchased by Tsogo Sun this year?
A: It’s hard to single out just one wine. I would say there were two simply world class, monumental wines of which we were lucky to secure 34 cases each. These were the first-ever wine by CWG member Morne Vrey of Delaire Graaf Estate, a spectacular Banhoek, Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016; and a wooded Sauvignon Blanc made in a French style similar to the great white Bordeaux – the Bartho Eksteen Vloekskoot Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2016.
Q: What was the reason for the purchase of the Vriesenhof Vineyards CWG Stellenbosch Pinot Noir 2015 Magnum? How many did you purchase?
A: Big bottle or large format bottles are ideal for any table of four or more guests and always adds to the dining experience simply by their sheer presence on the table. However, the reason of acquiring 48 magnums is that not only was 2015 one of the greatest vintages ever in South Africa, this Pinot Noir is one of the finest in Stellenbosch and South Africa. Not many people know that Vriesenhof Vineyards is owned by Jan Boland Coetzee, himself a CWG member, and a star Springbok player in the 70’s. His reputation as a gentleman supersedes that of his stature on the field, and in the wine industry he is acknowledged as ’wine royalty’.
Q: Was there a particular wine that you had to fight hard to win?
CWG auction bidding is always a dynamic affair. We would have loved to get more of the Vouvray-like Beaumont Family Wines Bot River Chenin Blanc Demi Sec 2016 by Sebastian Beaumont.
Q: Was there one that got away?
A: Not this time round. After three years of participating at the auction as a team we were like an eagle in the room watching each and every movement of other bidders. We were very pleased to get everything we wanted.
Q: Anything you’d like to add?
A: Grab the wines at great prices while you can. The ongoing positive publicity that South African wines are receiving internationally from influential wine writers and leading sommeliers, who claim we are the most exciting wine-producing country in the world right now, is starting to have an effect on price. While good for the industry and the grape farmers, price is on an upward spiral and soon Cape wines will be selling at a similar cost to the benchmarked European and American wines.