Food & Home - - Drink Up - BY MALU LAM­BERT

Be­fore you break the bank on a Swiss watch this Christ­mas, per­haps the wine lover in your life would pre­fer some liq­uid lux­ury in­stead. Fine-wine trad­ing and in­vest­ment is noth­ing new for re­gions like Bor­deaux in France, but here in South Africa we’re wit­ness­ing the dawn of this nascent in­dus­try.

Man­ag­ing direc­tor of Wine Cel­lar (a South African on­line fine-wine mer­chant), Roland Peens weighs in: “There are cur­rently only a hand­ful of South African wines that would fit into an in­ter­na­tional fine-wine col­lec­tion. Wines like the Klein Con­stan­tia Vin de Con­stance, Kanonkop Paul Sauer and Vi­la­fonté Se­ries C have built a track record of qual­ity, age­ing and in­di­vid­u­al­ity over the last decade or more. Re­cently, how­ever, there has been a boom in South African fine wine, and there are many more wines that will join this group. SA is pro­duc­ing world-class wines, but these need to reach ma­tu­rity and rar­ity in or­der to achieve icon sta­tus.” It’s a risky busi­ness for pro­duc­ers; mak­ing these kinds of wines re­quires long age­ing and in­vest­ment in ter­roir, which takes nu­mer­ous years without im­me­di­ate re­turns.

Though, as Roland says, wine as an in­vest­ment class has one clear ben­e­fit over any other: if you don’t re­alise the re­quired re­turns, you can al­ways drink and in­dulge in it!

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