World’s largest wine-by-the-glass bar puts cellar stock worth millions on auction

World's largest wine-by-the-glass bar puts cellar stock worth millions on auction

More than 5 000 bottles of premier wines, including an extraordinary selection of rare vintages, will be sold to avid oenophiles across the world via a five-day online auction this month.

The cellar going under the High Street Assets hammer in Cape Town, South Africa, from June 10 to June 14 is that of globally renowned Belthazar Restaurant that has graced Cape Town’s famed V&A Waterfront tourist hotspot since 2004.

The restaurant opened its doors offering fine dining seafood and grill delicacies, but its overriding claim to fame has always been its extraordinary beverage menu offering a selection of nearly 600 wines.

The restaurant is perhaps best known, though, for housing a bar with the world’s largest wine-by-the-glass menu where connoisseurs’ choices have spanned more than 250 wines from vineyards across the planet.

Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards has regularly recognized Belthazar’s cellar among its winners, and it is this massive wine collection that is now being auctioned, according at High Street Assets Cape Town Director and Auctioneer Stef Olivier.

“Collectors from around the world are pre-registering for this auction, because it’s not often that a such a diverse, eclectic collection with so many rare vintages come up for sale at the same time.

“Specific lots are attracting significant attention from potential bidders, the bulk of the interest in select South African vintages.”

Olivier says red wine, white wine, MCCs, champagne, dessert wine and port from three if not more countries will feature in High Street Assets’ online wine auction.

“The full catalogue containing more than 400 lots is available for download from

“However, among those that have piqued bidders’ interest are a collection of four bottles of Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon with vintages from 1972 to 1980, a 12-litre Ernie Els 2001 Red, 18 bottles of Kanonkop Pinotage 2007, six bottles of Hartenberg Gravel Hill 07 Shiraz and several vintage reserve Ports from the 1970s and 1980s.

“We’ll also be auctioning exceptional vintage champagnes, as well as cognac and vintage dessert wines, the oldest among them a Klein Constantia bottled in 1986.”

Olivier says South African collectors have always understood the intrinsic value of local wine, but international collectors have in recent years awoken to the investment value of the quality produced in this country.

His words are echoed by Maryna Calow, Communications Manager of Wines of South Africa (WoSA), a not-for-profit industry organisation responsible for export promotions of South African wine in key international markets.

She says: “South African wine has long been gaining traction in international markets due to the exceptional quality and value for money that they offer. Each bottle of premium South African wine can stand proudly tall next to the best of the best of comparative categories in the world.”

Merle Booker, National Association of Auctioneers Hall of Fame inductee and owner of the Booker Auction Company located in the state of Washington in the USA, agrees that the popularity of South African wine, particularly, has increased exponentially in America in recent years.

“South African wine has the reputation for being some of the finest wine anywhere in the word. Its quality is recognized by the best winemakers in regions such as Napa, as well as throughout the United States and it doesn’t get better than some of the vintages I myself have sampled.”

Olivier says the five-day auction commences at on the High Street Auction app at 10am on June 10, 2021, and closes at 10am on June 14.

The High Street app can be downloaded free from Google Play and the App Store.

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