A charitable orgy for the rich

News of a truly extraordinary Cape wine auction has been released. The sort of auction that makes one, for a depressing moment, wish one were rich enough to buy the stuff. The press release calls it “perhaps the most extraordinary international wine event ever seen in South Africa”, which seems fair enough. “Imagine a glamorous summer charity wine event in South Africa” it says. Just imagine.

The-Cape-Wine-AuctionThe auction is being sponsored by a bank (of course – they’re famous as friends of the poor, aren’t they?) and organised, it would seem, by the ultra-rich involved in Cape wine, to benefit the ultra-poor in Cape wine. There are quite a few of both, though inevitably vastly more of the latter.

I couldn’t help recalling, as I read the list of participants and the stuff on offer, the lines of William Blake from one of his “Songs of Experience”:

Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody Poor:
And Mercy no more could be,
If all were as happy as we;

The local ultra-rich wine crew can offer some very nice stuff themselves (though perhaps not all of them). But fortunately they have prevailed upon some other producers not or not yet quite so rich (but getting there?), to participate, so there are altogether some marvellous things on offer. (Can one gauge the socio-economic ambitions of the Sadies, Mullineux, etc from this event?) If you’ve got  plenty of money you can bid for the wines and other indulgences, and get the supreme indulgence of also having a nice charitable fuzzy warmth about it.

You can bid online, I gather, or be one of a select (very rich) few (250) at a “glamorous” and “grand” event at the glittering Delaire Graff estate on 15 March (and sneak a peak at one of the icons of kitsch, Tretchikoff’s “Chinese Girl”). All sorts of details are available on the Cape Wine Auction website. If you want to go straight to the descriptions of the wine and other offers, click here for the catalogue, though there’s a briefer description of them on the website.

The following are the two lots that I would most like, although they’re amongst the more modest. Apart from some nights at New York (etc) hotels, a saliva-generating trip to California, dinners at grand restaurants, etc, which I could cope with (in the name of charity, of course). And there are barrels of famous wines available, and…

The-Boekenhoutskloof-lotThe Boekenhoutskloof Lot (accompanied by the most remarkable photo of a brooding cellarmaster Marc Kent that I have ever seen – or is he just puzzled? – with his label’s chairs come to tiny life): “An incredible collection of the never before sold The Journeyman, including vintages from 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011.”  Indeed. These are some of the best red wines ever made in South Africa, in my opinion, and rare, so I hope if you’re rich enough to buy them you will appreciate them.

Eben Sadie’s Signature ‘Ammunition Crate’ Auction Lot: “The only complete collection of Eben Sadie’s Palladius and Columella in the world – ever. An unprecedented collectors item.” Well, I wonder if it is quite so unique. Probably. I myself have got all the Columellas, but few of the Palladiuses. Would love to have more of all of them, without question!

But there are lots and lots of other lots that will cost lots and lots of money. You can have dinners and picnics with all sorts of glamorous and/or dull or exciting people, get barrels of their wines, go to fancy places. Go see, if money is what you have, or just gawk if you have, like me, a morbid fascination at observing this sort of celebrity thing.

The South African wine industry has great need of charity. Do your duty! And maybe all expenses can come off your tax (sellers and buyers both).

4 thoughts on “A charitable orgy for the rich

  1. love the heading! “A charitable orgy for the rich”

    What I would love to see is a regular online auction or marketplace for old SA wines.

    I manage sometimes to buy a couple of bottles of old wine from a local auction or via olx of bidorbuy. Sometime ago I purchased 3 bottles of Paul Sauer 1994 from a Gauteng auction online and had it courier down. It worked out about R120 a bottle and I was pretty chuffed to see this particular wine sold at Nederburg for something like R1200. Its a bit of a hassle but i love “finding” old wine.

    • Hennie, why not make a bid on 30 years of Meerlust Rubicon, 5 decades of Ch. Pichon, a decade of Vilafonté, every Cluver Seven Flags or Boekenhoutkloof Journeyman ever produced. The Cape Wine a Auction is also going to be an annual event. See you there.

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