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!