The Year of the Plague has not been kind to conventional wine auctions. Most of the major international sales went virtual, some very successfully. In August, Christie’s New York offered the cellar of a famous collector, completing the $2.3m sale entirely online, and showing a 200% improvement on the top presale estimates. Other houses have evolved a kind of hybrid format. Strauss & Company’s wine sale a few months back did surprisingly well.

The important national wine auctions are normally concentrated around this time of the year. Covid-19 has ensured that only one will take place in 2020 — the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) selection of its specially assembled bottlings. London auction house Bonhams will be conducting it, in an online format which includes live bidding as well as commission bids. The main sale takes place on October 3 2020, at midday London time.

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