Grand Constance 1821 wine bottle breaks wine auction record. Picture: Cape Fine Rare Wine Auction
Grand Constance 1821 wine bottle breaks wine auction record. Picture: Cape Fine Rare Wine Auction

WATCH: Grand Constance 1821 wine bottle breaks wine auction record

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 27, 2021

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History was made in the Cape Winelands when a rare bottle of Grand Constance 1821 reached a record-breaking R420 000 at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction last week.

It is believed that the Grand Constance 1821 was only one of 12 known to still exist from an allocation originally destined for the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Not much is known about this particular bottle's history over the past 200 years, but it is known that it was one of three bought by Distell at a sale in London in the early 1980s.

The hand-blown black glass bottles were recorked in 2019 with a seal containing a unique, traceable code added by sommelier Jean-Vincent Ridon when experts were able to confirm that the wine still appeared to be in pristine condition.

According to Decanter, organisers said a UK-based Christie’s client bought the bottle.

Speaking of the Grand Constance 1821 before last weekend’s sale, MD of Nederburg wine estate and head of CFRWA, Niel Groenewald, said a treasure of this calibre presents itself perhaps once in a lifetime, and anyone lucky enough to secure this wine at auction will be rewarded with an unbelievable valuable piece of wine history, reported the site.

They also revealed that the total auction sales at this year’s CFRWA reached R2.2 million according to unaudited results.

They added that the auction, which was live-streamed from the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch and held in association with Christie’s, featured some of South Africa’s finest and rarest wines.

After the sale, Groenewald said, “Following a year that has impacted the South

“African wine industry like no other, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction today became a beacon of resilience, showcasing the tenacious spirit of the country’s winemakers – and the massive favour they carry with wine enthusiasts globally,” reported Decanter.

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