Rare bottle of 1821 Grand Constance breaks wine auction record

24 May, 2021

A bottle of 1821 Grand Constance sold for a record-breaking R420,000 (£21,222) at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction in Stellenbosch.

The bottle is from an allocation originally intended for Napoleon Bonaparte and was the marquee lot in a day which resulted in R2,219,200 (£112,000) of sales.

“Following a year that has impacted the South African wine industry like no other, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction today became a beacon of resilience, showcasing the tenacious spirit of the country’s winemakers – and the massive favour they carry with wine enthusiasts globally,” said Cape Fine Rare Wine Auction director, Niël Groenewald.  

“Wines representing the rarest and finest South African wines available, including bottles meticulously preserved since the 1960s, wines produced under South Africa’s pioneering Old Vine Project, and the highest quality wines from some of the country’s most successful vintages – 2009 and 2015, as well as a rare bottle of Grand Constance 1821 all contributed to an impressive showcase today.”

The live-streamed auction was held in association with Christie’s, other notable lots included Monis Vintage Tawny Port 1990 which sold for R1000 (£50.50) per bottle, and 1999 Nederburg Edelkeur 1999.

 “[Today] was likely the most important wine industry event nurturing a fertile environment for the rise and rise of the South African fine wine category,” said Mike Ratcliffe, chairman of Stellenbosch Wine Routes.  

The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, formerly the Nederburg Auction, was first held in 1975 has supported philanthropic initiatives since its inception. This year the auction raised more than R130,000 (£6,585) for the Pinotage Youth Academy (PYDA), a charity that provides young people with industry-specific development programmes for a career in the wine sector.

The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will return next year on 8 October 2022.

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