Collections of fine wines made by some of South Africa’s leading producers have been sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in what has been described as a first for the country’s wine industry. The auction, which was conducted by fine art auctioneer Strauss & Co, saw some lots, like Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance vertical collection from 1986-2027, being sold for $79,000 (R1,251,800).
Other lots that exceeded estimated prices include winemaker Meerlust’s “50-year vertical of their famous Rubicon,” which reached $68,000. Vilafonté Series C 2003-2027 topped $36,000, while Mullineux Olerasay 1-20 is reported to have garnered $20,000. The collection from Kanonkop Paul Sauer, 2000-2025, fetched $16,000.
Securing South Africa’s Fine Wine Heritage
Speaking after the sale, Roland Peens, a fine wine specialist at Strauss & Co, said:
This is a big step in securing South Africa’s fine wine heritage! These pristine vintage bottles are now securely on the blockchain for future trading and enjoyment. We believe this new technology is the most powerful way of packaging and trading vintage wines, especially when provenance is so vital.
A statement released after the sale said while each collection is an NFT, individual bottles will also be ‘minted’ as NFTs and these “can be drawn or traded at any time on any NFT platform around the world.” Immediately following the sale, two lots were paid for with bitcoin, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the statement revealed that a total of $6,000 was simultaneously raised for charities that are critical to South Africa’s wine industry.