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Strauss & Co launches Africa’s first NFT auction with South Africa’s leading fine wine producers

A selection of wines available in the Strauss & Co wine NFT auction. Image courtesy Brilliant Relations

South African auction house Strauss & Co has partnered with five of the country’s most respected fine wine producers to offer Africa’s first fine wine Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) on auction from 18-15 April.

Capturing past, present and future vintages, these unique digital contracts encompass vertical collections of Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, Kanonkop Paul Sauer, Meerlust Rubicon, Mullineux Olerasay and Vilafonté Series C.

Each NFT holds between 20 and 50 vintages, with collections from 66 to 288 bottles.

Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions is a joint venture between leading fine wine merchant WineCellar, sommelier Higgo Jacobs and leading auction house, Strauss & Co.

“We are beyond excited to be launching Africa’s first NFT auction online which we believe can play an important part in generating awareness for South African fine wine internationally,” said Roland Peens WineCellar director and Strauss & Co fine wine specialist.

“Various fine wine NFTs have become available over the last two years as the NFT market has boomed.

“Strauss & Co Fine Wine NFTs, however, offer a unique iconic South African industry collective of verticals direct from the producers, providing unprecedented ownership of vintage wines and futures to the collector and investor.”

Non-fungible tokens are a highly efficient way to package a collection of wines for trading and investment.

The digital contract, stored on the polygon blockchain, includes all the provenance, pricing, transaction, sensorial and aging information.

This authenticates the bottles within the NFT since all the wines were selected from the estate’s library stocks, corresponding to each bottle’s seal-code.

The transactions are extremely cheap and fast, and don’t add any marginal energy cost.

Each bottle within the NFT is also minted as an NFT, allowing for drinking or trading of single bottles at any time.

Strauss & Co will coordinate the NFT through to maturity, making sure each vintage is added, as well as ‘burning’ NFTs when stock is withdrawn.

This likely constitutes the first fine South African wines to be transacted on the blockchain.

Web3 development partner, Fanfire, have partnered with Strauss & Co to curate and transact the fine wine NFTs.

Once auctioned, the NFTs can be traded by the owner on any platform, radically increasing its liquidity and target market across the world.

The NFTs include perfect cellaring of the wines until maturity, while the contracts are held in a custodial wallet or sent to a cold wallet such as the Venox Vault.

Many of the wines within the NFT are extremely rare. Only a handful of the 1980 Rubicon and 1986 Vin de Constance are owned by the estates and complete verticals likely don’t exist outside the estates.

Maiden vintages of Vilafonté Series C are impossible to find, Mullineux Olerasay is produced in miniscule quantities and icon vintages of Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2009 and 2003 are now also very rare.

While South Africa has produced wines for over 350 years, the historic wine estates such as Meerlust, Klein Constantia and Kanonkop have only been producing bottled wines for four to five decades.

These three historic producers have reached a new level of quality within the last decade however, while new producers such as Vilafonté and Mullineux Family have driven this fine wine boom.

As well as offering the world’s greatest wines, Strauss & Co have assisted in developing the secondary market for vintage South African wines.

 

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