INTERNATIONAL HEAD OF WINE FOR CHRISTIE’S
David entered the UK wine trade in London in 1981, working in the competitive retail sector for four years. In 1985, he picked up a magazine, which featured an article on Michael Broadbent, Head of Christie’s Wine Department and doyen of the auction world. Later that year, David met Michael, joined the team at Christie’s and commenced his auction career. David was appointed as Director and Auctioneer in 1989, a position that he held until the end of 1999. During that time he became Deputy Head of Christie’s UK wine sales in 1994 and Head of UK and European sales in 1997. In 2000, David was invited to establish a European office for the U.S. Internet auction house, Winebid. In 2002, following a successful two-year stint on-line, David was invited to rejoin the team at Christie’s to oversee all European and Asian sales as Head of the Wine Department in London. In March 2004, he was appointed as International Head for all Christie’s global wine sales including the U.S. working with consultants Michael Broadbent M.W. and Anthony Hanson M.W. to ensure that Christie’s stay at the forefront of the competitive international wine auction market. In 2008, David masterminded Christie’s return to the Asian wine market with wine sales in Hong Kong and Beijing. He also runs an independent fine wine advisory service for buying and selling fine wines in a global market.
David has travelled extensively through the vineyards of the world, retaining a special interest for the wines of Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. In 1987 he was awarded Pass with Distinction and the Spanish Scholarship in the Wine Education Trust Diploma exams. As principal auctioneer for the Wine Department at Christie’s he has presided over a number of notable commercial sales in London, Hong Kong, New York, Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Beaune and Geneva including “Grands Crus” in 1997 in London, which still holds the European record for a wine sale at over $12m – and for Charity, numerous prestigious UK auctions, the Florida Winefest Auction from 1996-2016, both record-breaking Napa Valley sales in1999 and again in 2001-2004 and Napa Premiere in 2015 and 2016. David has also hosted a regular wine phone-in show on London’s LBC radio channel, participated in numerous TV shows on the world of wine auctions and contributes regularly to a number of specialist wine publications, including his appointment to the editorial board of ‘World of Fine Wine’ (2004) and the Advisory Board of the International Wine Challenge (2008). In 2003, David received the very rare double distinction of being appointed both as a Commandeur du Bontemps de Medoc at Fete de la Fleur held at Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and as a Chevalier du Tastevin at Clos de Vougeot ceremonies in Burgundy.
Anthony Barne MW
Anthony Barne MW from Bonhams in London took up the hammer for the first time at the 36th Nederburg Auction in 2010. He is only the third auctioneer in the history of the Nederburg Auction to play this vital role, following in the footsteps of Patrick Grubb and Stephen Welz.
Anthony joined the wine trade from the Army in 1978, having developed the interest during his posting at Gibraltar.
His wine trade career started in a wine shop, followed by a brief spell working at Domaine Thenard in Burgundy and Seppelts in South Australia. His career until 1992 was in mail order and wine buying, first with Hicks & Don, where he passed the Master of Wine exam in 1985 and for whom he still acts as buying consultant, and then Harveys of Bristol.
Since then he has been a wine auctioneer, currently working for Bonhams in London as UK Head of Wine. As an auctioneer, Anthony’s main focus is on the classic wine regions of France and Italy as well as Vintage Port and Madeira, but he has many other interests including Germany and South Africa.
Of the Nederburg Auction, Anthony says that ‘visiting wineries in the Cape each year and discussing wine-making with the growers makes me realize how far things have come in the time that I have had the privilege of taking the Nederburg Auction. Each year’s sale is eagerly anticipated, especially as talking to the buyers and taking their bids in such a dynamic and professionally-run sale is such a fantastic experience!”
Stephan Welz conducted the Auction for four consecutive years, from 2006 – 2009. Mr Welz was an auctioneer of international repute, well-known for his connections with Sotheby’s International and in South Africa. He played a pioneering role in respect of wine auctions in South Africa, being involved in the planning of the very first Nederburg Auction and later arranging and conducting the first public auctions of privately held wines in South Africa.
A name synonymous with the Nederburg Auction is that of Patrick Grubb, who was the auctioneer at this event for 31 consecutive years, 1975 to 2005 – a feat recognised in the Guinness Book of Records. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2005 Auction.
Mr Grubb, now an independent wine consultant, headed the Wine Department and was a director of British auction firm Sotheby’s until the end of 1984. As a member of the British Institute of Masters of Wine, he has also become world-renowned as a wine taster.
Patrick Grubb’s association with South Africa started at birth. His grandfather was a Kimberley mine manager and his father was born in Pietermaritzburg. At the age of 17, Patrick made his first acquaintance with wine, and it was in consequence of this experience that he joined a French wine company in Bordeaux three years later, in 1952. His rise in the wine industry was meteoric; in 1958 he became a member of the Institute of Masters of Wine – at 25 the youngest member ever admitted.
Buyers, participants and guests admired and enjoyed his expertise, the clear and well-modulated voice with which he conducted the proceedings, the wit that he brought to the serious business of wine selling and his manifest confidence and efficiency -= not to mention his unique choice of words in appraising the wines. If Nederburg has become synonymous with the term ‘wine auction’ in South Africa, no less has Patrick Grubb become identified with both.