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Internationally renowned oenologist to address Nederburg Auction

The keynote speaker at this year's 34th Auction of Rare Cape Wines, being held on 19–20 September 2008, brings an international perspective on oenology and wine technology to one of Cape Town's premier wine events.

Dr Monika Christmann, professor and head of the department of oenology and wine technology at Geisenheim Research Centre in Germany, will offer her insights on how consumer demands will shape the future of wine, particularly in the current economic climate.

Dr Christmann, who worked for the esteemed Simi Winery in Healdsburg, California, where she was a member of the winemaking team and laboratory director in the early 1990s, is currently president of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine's (OIV's) expert wine technology group. The OIV is the internationally recognised inter-governmental body that addresses technical, scientific, economic and legal issues pertaining to wine all over the world. It also sets conditions for producing and marketing vine and wine products, and helps ensure that the interests of consumers are taken into account.

In addition, she serves on the German Federal Agricultural Ministry's wine research committee and is a director of a national industry forum that focuses on wine and health, for which she is currently researching the impact of wine on diet.

Having visited South Africa several times Dr Christmann is tremendously excited to be addressing the Nederburg Auction, which she considers one of the world's foremost wine auctions. She says; "Over the last ten years I have noted the emergence of a discernibly South African wine style, and am particularly impressed by the country's Chardonnays and red wines". As a consumer in Germany, she is also happy to see South African wines becoming more readily available and believes the awareness of the Cape as a travel destination is helping the country to build its wine profile.

Dr Christmann is currently engaged in a range of key studies and think tanks on issues facing the international wine industry, from the impact of climate change to environmental and social sustainability, traceability, growing international competition in the international wine market, changing technology and the need to cater to the growing health awareness of consumers.

Auction Manager Christine Joubert says; "Dr Christmann's immersion in global wine industry dynamics and her working experience in both Old and New World environments make her well-placed to comment holistically on the changing world of wine. We are very pleased to be hosting someone of her calibre and look forward to the dynamic viewpoint she will present on Old World wine-making methods and vinification".

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