A treasure trove of 61 individually crafted wines of great diversity, rare varieties, collaborative winemaking and exciting blends goes under the hammer at the 33rd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction to be held in Stellenbosch on Saturday, September 30.

Innovative winemaking is the hallmark of this South African wine industry showcase that features small volumes of unique collectors’ wines all made exclusively for the auction by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG).

With 10 more wines and 534 additional cases on offer after last year’s record breaking auction that saw total sales exceeding R13.8 million, wine enthusiasts, private collectors and the wine trade will be spoilt for choice this year.

The 2017 auction line-up comprises 42 red wines, 18 white wines and one Méthode Cap Classique making up the tally of 2 962 cases (6 x 750ml case equivalent).

“With greater variety on offer than ever before, our members continue to dig deep to find new varieties and exceptional parcels of vineyards to craft exciting wines,” says CWG chairperson Miles Mossop of Tokara.

“The strong category of red blends is particularly interesting this year and proof that we remain at the forefront of innovation in South African winemaking,” said Mossop.

Three Guild members, Bruwer Raats, Morne Vrey and Carl van der Merwe, make their auction debuts this year. Raats has submitted a 100% Cinsaut, B Vintners Inboet Storie Cinsaut 2016, as his first Guild Auction wine, while Vrey has opted for Chardonnay with his Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Chardonnay 2016.

Van der Merwe will have two wines – a red blend and a 100% Roussanne going under the hammer: DeMorgenzon Gravitas 2015 and DeMorgenzon Roussanne 2016.

Sebastian Beaumont is also breaking new ground with the auction’s first Demi-Sec wine, his Beaumont Family Wines Chenin Blanc Demi-Sec 2016.

In the spirit of camaraderie, one of the cornerstones of the Cape Winemakers Guild, a collaboration between Adi Baden- horst and Duncan Savage – another auction first – will see two new blends under the quirky name, Love Boat, on auction this year. Love Boat White 2016 is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Viognier, while Love Boat Red 2016 is a blend Shiraz, Grenache and Cinsaut.

In the white wine line-up of 18 wines, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are the biggest single categories with five entries each, followed by blends (3), Sauvignon Blanc (2), Semillon (1), Roussanne (1) and Viognier (1).

Blends are the strongest category with 17 wines in the red wine auction selection totalling 42 this year. Next in line are Pinot Noir (7), Shiraz (6), Cabernet Sauvignon (5), Pinotage (3), Cinsaut (2), Caber- net Franc (1) and Barbera (1).

For stalwart Danie Steytler, this year holds great significance as his two auction red blends, Kaapzicht Estate Rouge de Kaap 2015 and Kaapzicht Estate The Ultimate Vision 2015, will be his last before he retires from winemaking.

One of the flag bearers for innovation among the red blends is Bruce Jack’s The Drift Farm Comfort Zone “Whole Bunch Tinta” 2016, comprising Tinta Barocca, Barbera and Monastrell. The resurgence of Cinsaut is reflected in the auction red wine selection with two single varietal wines and the inclusion of three blends.

No less than six auction wines – five reds and a white wine – will be available in magnums. The red blends in magnums are David Trafford’s De Trafford Perspective 2015, Jeremy Walker’s Grangehurst Auction Blend 2014, and Coenie Snyman’s Rust en Vrede CWG Auction Estate 2014. Jan Boland Coetzee has included his Vriesenhof Pinot Noir 2015 in magnums, and Teddy Hall has two auction wines in magnums: Teddy Hall Wines ‘Nico Theunissen’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and Teddy Hall Wines

‘Hendrik Biebouw’ Chenin Blanc 2015. Innovation is an important aspect of the auction but the selection of well-established wines of great lineage is a drawcard for collectors and influential wine buyers who return every year for a chance to purchase new vintages of these heritage wines. Some of the auction faithfuls with new vintages include Beyerskloof CWG Trail dust Pinotage 2015, Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2015, Boschkloof Epilogue Syrah 2015, Cederberg Teen die Hoog Shiraz 2015, De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2015, Ernie Els CWG 2015, Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2014, Hartenberg Estate CWG Auction Shiraz 2014, Jordan Sophia 2014, Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2014, and Paul

Cluver Auction Selection Pinot Noir 2015. New vintages among established white wines include Ataraxia Under The Gavel Chardonnay 2016, Bartho Eksteen Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc – Wooded 2016,

Jordan CWG Chardonnay 2016, Mullineux Trifecta Chenin Blanc 2014, and Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2016.

The only MCC to go under the hammer this year is John Loubser’s Silverthorn Wines Big Dog III Méthode Cap Classique 2012. This is a new vintage of last year’s record breaker, which fetched the highest price ever paid for an MCC at the auction.

The auction, conducted by Henré Hab- lutzel of Hofmeyr Mills Auctioneers for the 20th consecutive year, is open to the public and will be held at the Spier Conference Centre in the Stellenbosch Winelands. Tickets to the Showcase can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za.

Registration for the Auction and VIP Lounge will close on Wednesday. Telephonic and proxy bidding options are available to those unable to a end in person.

To find out more, visit: www.capewinemakersguild.com, e-mail info@capewinemakersguild.com or call 021 852 0408.