The high prices fetched for a selection of South African wines auctioned in Canada are an encouraging sign in the run-up to the annual Nederburg Auction, which takes place on April 9 in Paarl.

Canada is one of this country's top wine export markets.

The prices for the 45 lots that went under the hammer at a preview of the Nederburg Auction in Vancouver earlier this month all exceeded market-related opening bids.

The top price realised was for a case of 12 x 375ml bottles of 2003 Nederburg Edelkeur that went for R7 655, almost R637 per bottle.