The annual American Express Barrel Auction is an opportunity for serious oenophiles to taste, bid and potentially own exclusive yet-to-be-released vintages, as well as rare and sought-after lots and one-o-fa-kind wines from the cellars of some of South Africa’s top winemakers.
The event, which traditionally takes place the day prior to the Cape Wine Auction, will be held at the magnificent Norval Foundation on Friday, March 1.
Located in the Steenberg area of Cape Town, adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, the foundation is a centre for art and cultural expression, dedicated to the research and exhibition of 20th and 21st century visual art from South Africa and beyond.
Says Cape Wine Auction event organiser Darielle Robertson: “It is going to be a fantastic venue for the American Express Barrel Auction as it is contemporary and stylish and offers visitors a multisensory experience, combining the appreciation of art and nature.
“Guests attending the evening are going to be blown away by the world-class art exhibitions, gorgeous gardens and beautiful interiors, while enjoying award-winning wines and superb food.”
Norval Foundation chief curator Owen Martin says: “The foundation is a dynamic platform for the research and exhibition of modern and contemporary art, featuring nine galleries, a sculpture garden, museum shop and the Skotnes restaurant.
“We’re committed to exhibiting art from the 20th and 21st centuries from South Africa and beyond, enabling us to contribute to a broader understanding of South Africa’s visual history, while exhibiting some the most important artists of our time.
“At the heart of Norval Foundation is a commitment to increasing access to art and art education. We have a vibrant children’s programme, which is complemented by the children’s activity room and children’s area in the sculpture garden.
“To guarantee wider access to the arts, we provide free admission to the museum every Monday, and children under 18 are always offered free admission.”
Daily, free, guided tours by the curatorial team facilitate access to exhibitions.
The Skotnes restaurant, named after one of South Africa’s most prominent artists, serves South African classics re-enlivened with gastronomic flair. It’s also an ideal platform to view the sculpture garden. In addition, guests can picnic in the sculpture garden, with hampers being ordered in advance and picked up from the restaurant.
The research library is an ideal place to read or study.
“One very exciting exhibition in store for 2019, is Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture SG III – the first of its kind in Africa – which will be located in the sculpture garden from February and features a wax batik pattern covering the undulating form of the object, suggesting movement while bringing up issues like trade, migration and globalisation.”
South Africa’s premier wine event, the Cape Wine Auction takes place on Saturday, March 2, at the Buitenverwachting estate in Constantia, Cape Town, with the 2019 American Express Barrel Auction kicking off proceedings the previous evening at the Norval Foundation.
The 2018 auction raised more than R17 million for education in the Cape winelands.
• A ticket for both the American Express Barrel Auction and the Cape Wine Auction costs R7 500 a person or R2 500 a person for the Barrel Auction evening only.
• It can be purchased through thecapewineauction.com.