Emily Sluzewski looks ahead to February's auction in South Africa, where even online bidders can come away with the finest sun-kissed wine.
In the seemingly endless gloom of our Northern hemisphere winter it is hard to imagine the glorious sunshine bathing our Southern hemisphere counterparts and their enviable vineyards. One of the most famous, and arguably beautiful, of the old Cape wineries is Klein Constantia. Now, after three years of comprehensive restoration, the original 19th Century Cape Dutch style manor house at the heart of the renowned winery is finally complete and to celebrate the official opening, Klein Constantia will be hosting the 3rd installment of the annual AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction on the 12th and 13th February.
Attracting the biggest wine collectors, socialites, and industry experts, the AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction is not only one of the Cape Wine Industry's biggest events but also Africa's largest philanthropic event, raising money to support education in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. The past two years have seen over one million dollars (R17 million) raised for the 13 beneficiaries, including MAD Charity, The Pebbles Project, and The Click Foundation. R10.6 million was raised in 2015 alone, setting a new African philanthropic record. The charities who benefit from this fund raising initiative provide underprivileged school children with a range of aid, including vocational training, psychosocial support, sport therapy and educational facilities.
You might be wondering why we are telling you of this event, given that the majority of our readers will be located in the wintery north. There is good reason. Although the live auction takes place in South Africa on the 13th February, wine aficionados located somewhat further away can participate in the auction through an online bidding system. With donated lots this year including rare wines and access to exceptional private homes, talented chefs and winemakers, it would be churlish not to look.
So, if you fancy glancing over - and placing a bid on - the contributions from some of the world's most prestigious wineries (including Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Paul Cluver, Edgebaston, Bouchard Finlayson, Meerlust, Groot Constantia, Vilafonté and Kanonkop), log on to www.thecapewineauction.com