Cape Wine Auction Update: Groot Expectations for South Africa

capewineMy forthcoming book Money, Taste and Wine examines the tensions and trade-offs between and among the three things that make up the title — money, taste and wine — but the final chapter is a little different. It proposes that under the right circumstances money, taste and wine can come together to promote social change. The chapter is called “Groot Expectations” and it is set in South Africa.

Changing Times in South Africa – Wine Leads the Way

Once upon a time a concerned wine drinker might have avoided South African wine for ethical reasons — because of that country’s apartheid policies, which put a taint on all its many products. Now, the chapter argues, it is just the opposite — at least in the case of wine — because so many Cape Wineland producers are leveraging wine to promote equality and social progress.

The second annual AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which takes place on February 13 and 14, 2015 is a great “Groot Expectations” project. The auction has identified a worthy set of local non-profits to support including the Pebbles Project. The inaugural 2014 auction raised about seven million Rand (about $600,000) for charity and the 2015 event aims to exceed that amount by a good deal. The auction packages are fantastic — click here to view the catalogue of wines and experiences that are available. Definitely the sort of project that wine lovers should support.

Paddles Up! On-line  Bidding is Open

The last time I looked tickets for the live auctions were nearly sold out. The good news is that on-line bidding is available and, with the Rand at a favorable exchange rate for those of you holding U.S. dollars, it is possible to do good and do well at the same time.

The auction packages are simply amazing — the donors have been exceptionally generous and creative. Some of the lots include entire barrels of wine bottled in the winner’s choice of format, which reminds me of the historic Hospices de Beaune auction. Here are a few examples of the packages to whet your appetite and maybe provoke you to make a bid. I have groot expectations about this!

 The Warwick Estate ‘Trilogy’ Lot

  • A one-of-a-kind vertical collection of three five litre Jereboams of Warwick Trilogy including the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages.
  • Presented in a custom wooden presentation box, signed and personalised for the winning bidder.
  • An incredible summer party for 100 friends at Warwick Wine Estate.
  • All food supplied with catering by Warwick’s Chef.
  • All wines for the event chosen and supplied by The Ratcliffe family.

Wait. Does that say “party for 100 friends?” Yes it does! Hmmm. And the Delaire Graff Estate lot is pure luxury.

The Delaire Graff Estate Lot

  • A helicopter flight from Cape Town to the beautiful Banhoek Valley in Stellenbosch.
  • A two-night stay for two people in Delaire Graff’s Luxury Lodges.
  • A private art tour hosted by Lionel Smit.
  • A specially commissioned set of Lionel Smit prints.
  • A dining experience at Indochine.
  • A vertical wine tasting.
  • A gift set of Delaire Graff Botmaskop Magnums.
  • A seasonal spa escape per guest.

I like “The Godfather” lot because it honors Dr. Cluver. He’s one of my heroes for all the contributions he has made to South Africa and the world.

‘The Godfather’ Lot by Paul Cluver

  • A combination of gorgeous experiences and wine from the parents of two of Paul’s god children.
  • An exceptional collection of 60 bottles of Paul Cluver Pinot Noir blended by Andries Burger.
  • An amazing week-long stay at an 18th century Chateau in the Loire for eight people.

There is an international celebrity element in this one: Sir Richard Branson.

Sir Richard Branson’s Mont Rochelle Lot

  • Three nights at Sir Richard Branson’s new vineyard Mont Rochelle.
  • A three-course dinner for two at Miko.
  • A private wine tasting and cellar tour.
  • A gourmet tasting in the Country Kitchen.
  • A 60-minute Cape Malay Spice Journey Spa treatment for two.
  • Three nights at Ulusaba. All meals and drinks included. A private dinner.
  • A 90 minute La Stone full body massage for two.
  • Flights and transfers included.

And for those of you who love big, really big bottles …

The Swartland Revolution Lot – The Balthazar Collection.

  • An incredible collection from the Swartland Revolution pioneers.
  • A never before bottled 12 liter Balthazar from each of Porseleinberg, Sadie Family Wines, AA Badenhorst and Mullineux and Leeu Family wines.
  • Never to be repeated, it is hard to imagine more of a collectors item.

This is only a sampling of what’s on offer — check out the online catalog for the complete menu.

Be sure to call me when you are ready to pop the cork on your Balthazar! The Cape Wine Auction lets you do well and do good. You know what to do!

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