Fine Wine Auctions in partnership with Strauss & Co

Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions

Fine Wine Auctions

In a trailblazing initiative, SA’s foremost auction house, Strauss & Co, has entered into a joint venture with Wine Cellar and top sommelier Higgo Jacobs to launch the Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions program.

The aim of the curated sale is simple: to present prospective buyers and collectors with a meticulously sourced catalogue of rare and esteemed South African wines. The auction process offers a transparent, structured and sustainable model for affirming the status of our very finest wines. Each sale will be underpinned by the application of strict criteria with regard to quality, provenance and rarity. View past auction results.

Upcoming fine wine auction

Single-Owner Private Collection

Auction events and tastings

In line with global auction markets and to provide prospective buyers with the best possible access to outstanding wines, Wine Cellar and Strauss & Co will host a series of educational events in the lead up to each wine auction. These events are led by industry experts and highlight the many benefits of buying and selling fine wine.

The application of strict criteria with regard to quality, provenance and rarity will enable collectors to buy outstanding wines with confidence, in a seamless and highly transparent manner.

Higgo Jacobs,
Auction Curator and Wine Specialist

As prices rise, we have naturally had more brokerage requests. We see a serious opportunity for an open-market auction. No other auction house has the track record and experience in selling fine and rare assets that Strauss & Co brings to the table.

Roland Peens,
Wine Cellar Director and Wine Specialist

We believe the time is right to elevate South African wines to the same degree of collectability as the visual and decorative arts. We are delighted to team up with such credible partners in bringing an exciting new asset class to our client base.

Frank Kilbourn,
Strauss & Co Executive Chairperson

We have witnessed first-hand the immense appreciation in fine wine prices over the last decade. This coincides with a leap in quality and realisation of some of the incredible gems from the last century.

Roland Peens,
Wine Cellar Director and Wine Specialist

About the Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions

Synonymous with top quality art, the introduction of fine wine auctions is a bold new venture on the part of Strauss & Co and will become a key part of their annual auction calendar.

Interest in vintage SA wines is at an all-time high, especially as the country raises its profile in the local and international wine market. International praise of SA wines reached a peak last year with the first modern-day perfect score by Tim Atkin MW for the Paul Sauer 2015. Eben Sadie was voted ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in 2017 by the Institute of Masters of Wine, a London-based professional body with an unsurpassed international reputation. This is an astonishing feat considering previous winners produce the world’s most sought-after wines.

Perfectly stored bottles of practically every top Bordeaux wine from the last few decades are available on the Bordeaux, London and Hong Kong markets, while very few vintage wines are traded in SA. ‘This makes it a highly opportune time to bring our fine wines into the secondary market in a structured and sustainable manner,’ says Frank. Higgo agrees, saying, ‘Strauss & Co entering the fine wine market is a strong vote of confidence in the maturity and potential of the SA wine industry and adds an exciting new dimension to it.’ As leaders in the fine wine market, Wine Cellar will provide professional cellaring, logistics and fine wine experience for the auctions.

Strauss & Co Wine Specialists

Higgo Jacobs

Auction Curator and Wine Specialist

Higgo Jacobs’s wine industry experience spans over 20 years, starting with harvests in Stellenbosch in 1998 and 1999 before being interrupted by a law degree from the University of Stellenbosch. He has experience first as winemaker’s assistant, then in wine marketing and sales. In 2007, he relocated to the UK and worked with the highly respected Anthony Byrne Fine Wines & Jeroboams of London and completed his studies with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and Court of Master Sommeliers certification.

Higgo later returned to SA in the role of resident sommelier at the 5-star Steenberg Hotel after which he began consulting to the industry. He is the driving force behind a variety of projects ranging from annual fine wine events and auctions, to sommelier education and competitions. He is a senior judge at the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine Awards. He is founding member and past chairman of the South African Sommelier Association as well as a member of by-laws committee of the Association de le Sommellerie Internationale – the international regulatory body for the sommelier profession.

Roland Peens

Wine Cellar Director and Wine Specialist

Studying economics at the University of Stellenbosch, Roland was surrounded by wine and, once finished with his BComm degree, he found his way into the industry to work in marketing, retail, exports and as a sommelier before joining Wine Cellar in 2005. As one of SA’s foremost wine importers and retailers, Wine Cellar offers the largest allocations of SA’s most sought-after wines. As a cellaring operation, it manages 800 customers and some 300,000 bottles, constituting the largest collection of fine wine in SA. Wine Cellar has also helped develop the secondary market by identifying and brokering local and international vintage wines. In 2018, two wine investment portfolios were launched, adding 20,000 bottles of local fine wine to the future secondary market.

Local and international study, and regular travel, have added to Roland’s extensive insight into the wine world. You’ll find him at most of SA’s top wine events, judging, learning and forever expanding his palate. He’s been a taster for Platter’s Guide, Winemag and the Nederburg Auction, and participated in the world wine tasting championships in Bordeaux in 2013.

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