Nederburg Auction – the J&B Met of the Wine World
September 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
They say the sun always shines on the righteous and judging by the weather at the Nederburg Auction, then Dalene Steyn and Carina Gous of Distell must have done something very right indeed. This is year two of the rejuvenated Auction and in my opinion, these two ladies are rocking it right back to the top of the social calendar, but with a hard financial edge underneath.
It’s hard for me to comment on how the Auction used to be in ‘the good old days’ because I never went. I hear from many people that it used to be more glam, more glitz, more bling, but less ching-ching, and I suppose that if that is the case, then last year must have been a bit of a shock to the system. It was very pared down to the point of insufficient seats for guests, queues for food and people scrabbling round to find something to drink with their lunch. I seem to remember commenting last year on a guest list very strong on the ‘old buffer-dom’ stakes and a tad light on ‘new social-media-savvy’. Well, that all changed this year.
So here are my memories of Saturday morning at the Nederburg Auction:
Slick bar-code check in via cell-phone, Pongracz, meet other tweeters, Pongracz, log onto Nederburg’s WiFi, Pongracz, idly watch rugby, Pongracz, eat delicious breakfast canapés from constant stream of smiling waiters, Pongracz.
Listen to keynote speech from David White (US wine blogger Terroirist), disgusting, sweet, grapey sparkling wine, auction begins, leave main hall in search of Pongracz, find Pongracz, more chats with people, Pongracz, admire frocks, Pongracz, read tweets on live feed on big screen (helpfully doctored by @Merlot_Girl), Pongracz, go to loo and watch lady adjusting her knickers in full view of us all, laugh like a drain, Pongracz.
More nibbles, more chats, more Pongracz. Follow updates on twitter and see that people are spending a LOT of money, Pongracz. Reluctantly decide that I have to leave, final Pongracz, say farewells, kiss everyone in sight, final, final Pongracz, receive several offers of help to meet up with husband from smiling assistants, leave and sleep in back of car on the way home.
Top tweeting chicks Di Procter, Melissa Chetty, Sam Linsell.
There were lots of things much better than the previous year in terms of catering, waiting staff, availability of food and drink, the whole look of the socialising area, guest-list etc etc and frankly I am not at all surprised that this led to more money on the day – 8% increase in sales to crack the R6 million mark, a new record bid of R68,000 for a case of Monis Port, overseas buyers purchasing 50% more wine than they did last year, no unsold lots at all, R183,000 for the charity auction – these were some of the highlights from the excellent presentation which was available within a ridiculously short time of the auction drawing to a close.
Overall feel of the day? A confident performance from a slick team focussed on delivering a good time, a good image (both at home and overseas) and some good profits for all concerned. Dalene Steyn, the main organiser, says that this is only the start of the journey for the new, improved Nederburg Auction. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next year.