Your comments on the Nederburg and Cape Winemakers Guild Auctions this morning on your Grape vanity blog by someone who attended neither event cannot be left to stand unchallenged by someone who was at both.
You claim to be “very sad that [the Nederburg Auction] has lost all that gloss [of the first Auctions].” How would you know? You were not at this year’s event, nor last year’s. You correctly observe that the two auctions offer “wines that aren’t exactly the same”, but then claim this is not important. In which case, I’ll swap you some Mouton Cadet for Château Mouton!
On the basis of two Jordan wines selling for higher prices at the CWG Auction than two different Jordan wines sold at Nederburg, you conclude this “damages the image of each of the producers involved [and] can’t do brand South Africa any good.”
As you know, Nederburg Auction stock is sold to the trade while CWG lots are sold to the public, so you’d expect lower Nederburg prices. What certainly is not doing brand SA any good is hysterical overreaction to the Nederburg Auction results. Turnover down 16% in the current economic climate is far from a disaster and the two auctions sell different wines to different markets.
You state the Jordan experience “was the same story for each of the CWG members.” This is simply not true. Overgaauw (a producer you omit from your list of CWG members at Nederburg) Tria Corda 2003 averaged R990 a case at Nederburg while the Overgaauw D.C. Classic 2007 averaged R1026 at CWG – a R6 per bottle price difference hardly sufficient to damage a brand.
To accuse Distell of not having the will or ability to reformulate the Nederburg Auction from someone who spurned the chance to ask these questions to senior management at the press conference after the Nederburg Auction, might be interpreted as being arrogant and rude. But we do agree on one thing: caveat emptor applies with knobs on – to your “report.”
Here’s a bit mathematical comedy before everybody gets to tense about the auction affaire.
If you add the unsold cases of dry white, red, Noble late and fortified and multiply it with it’s average prices achieved you find the following:
2008 : 2,874 million in unsold wine
2009: 2,424 miillion in unsold wine
BUT- if you calculate the average of total sold devided by total on sale (unsold + sold) you get the following.
2008: 7,66 mill / 4,79 mill = 1,6
2009: 6,44 mill / 4,02 mil = 1,6
would have been cool if 1,6 was in any way related to the 16% drop in total turnover- alas not, but to achieve higher turnover is seems the answer lies in 62%, so 8,06 million in worth offered at the auction should get you to crack 5 million.
The answer to the ultimate question then is 62 Neil.
Wonderful comment on busy Mrs. Lloyd’s blog from Winston Churchill:
I see that Neil Pendock has already commented on his blog regarding your report on the events that you did not attend (an aside: it seems to be Grape policy to report on events not attended, eg. Michael Fridjhon on the 350 year celebrations of winemaking, or books not read, eg. Tim James on Pendock’s Sour Grapes).
The only problem with not attending an event but having to write about it is that you have to work from the press releases supplied and information available on the internet. Your analysis of unsold cases, I suspect, is based on an incorrect analysis of the Nederburg auction report.
You state that: “Even worse and less-publicised news was the wine unsold: 15% of the total, including 651 cases of red (a whopping 73% of those on offer) and, more tellingly, given its current popular status, 197 cases of dry white (22%).”
If I understand the report correctly, a total of 890 cases went unsold of which 651 cases were red, 197 cases white, 26 cases noble late harvest and 16 cases of fortified wine, i.e. 73% of the unsold wine was red and 22% of the unsold wine was white and not, as you intimate, that 73% of the red wine and 22% of white wine on offer couldn’t find buyers. As the Nederburg auction report fails to mention whether the unsold cases were actual cases or 9 litre equivalent cases it would not be possible to do this calculation without getting further data from the auction organisers.
Just thought I should comment as it would be unfair to flog the poor dead horse of a prestitious (sic) event even further.
You’re a little unfair on Angela who is very busy with tastings for the Platter guide and so can’t be expected to attend every single wine event. I think you’ll agree that her tastings for Platter are vital for the South African wine industry.