Collections of fine South African wines have recently been sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with one lot selling for $79,000. Immediately after the auction, two lots were reportedly paid for with bitcoin.

Many exceed estimates

Collections of fine wines produced by some of South Africa’s top producers have been sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in what has been described as a first for the country’s wine industry. At the auction, conducted by art auction house Strauss & Co, some lots, such as Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance vertical collection from 1986 to 2027, sold for $79,000 (R1,251,800).

Other lots to surpass estimates include vintner Meerlust’s “50 Year Old Vertical of their Famous Rubicon” which reached $68,000. Vilafonté Series C 2003-2027 topped $36,000 while Mullineux Olerasay 1-20 reportedly grossed $20,000. Canon Cop Paul Sauer’s collection, 2000-2025, brought in $16,000.

Securing the heritage of fine wines in South Africa

After the sale, Roland Peens, specialist in fine wines at Strauss & Co, said:

This is a big step in safeguarding South Africa’s wine heritage! These pristine vintage bottles are now securely on the blockchain for future commerce and enjoyment. We believe this new technology is the most powerful way to package and trade vintage wines, especially when provenance is so important.

A statement released after the sale said that while each collection is an NFT, individual bottles are also “minted” as NFTs and these “can be subscribed or traded at any time on any NFT platform around the world.” Immediately after the sale, two lots were paid for with Bitcoin, it said.

Meanwhile, the statement revealed a total of $6,000 was raised at the same time for charities vital to the South African wine industry.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively on the economic woes of some African countries and how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.

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