Hawke's Bay Charity Cranford Hospice last night received a huge financial boost, after a rare wine collection sold in a thrilling auction that raised $19,000 for the hospice.
A "one of a kind" collection of a vertical lot collection of 32 vintages of the globally acclaimed Te Mata Estate Coleraine, donated by the Hastings-based Stewart family, went under the hammer at a pre-tasting event ahead of the annual Hawke's Bay Wine Auction next month.
About 200 people attended the pre-tasting, creating an electric atmosphere during the auction of the Te Mata Estate vertical, with bidders pushing up the price until Harcourts chief auctioneer Craig Smith finally brought the hammer down at $19,000 for the lot - or $593.75 a bottle.
The lot, which took the Stewart family 20 years to collect, was sold to Maraekakaho couple Simon and Natasha Gilbertson.
Mr Gilbertson said he just wanted to give something back to Cranford Hospice.
"Very early life a couple of my friends had need to use their service."
The way hospice staff had granted those friends such dignity whilst dying had left a lasting impression on him.
"After that, you don't need much motivation to help out."
Hospice chief executive Janice Byford-Jones was blown away with the result.
"I'm just speechless. This is an amazing gesture from a gentleman who has been supporting the hospice for 27 years."
Stewart family spokesman Nick Stewart said the auction was a "fantastic" result.
"This is just wonderful support from a wonderful couple. It's a very special night."
The Te Mata Coleraine vertical of 32 vintages (1982 - 2016) from the Stewart's private collection, and includes a bottle from every year since the Te Mata Estate's famed 1982 vintage.
While last night was the third time a Te Mata Estate vertical of Coleraine had come up for auction, Stewart said none of them had the scale of last night's collection, which spanned 32 vintages over 35 years (the vintage was not made in three of those years).
"I can't express how difficult it is to collect a vertical of wine on this scale."
Ticket numbers for the November 10 wine auction at the Napier Conference Centre, are available from the hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz website.
Hawke's Bay Wine Auction event manager Elisha Milmine was delighted with the quality of all 42 wines in next month's auction lot line up.
"It is great to see the wineries have again put thought and consideration into their auction lot, these superb blends continue to amaze, paired with the experiences, travel package and sculpture we are looking forward to the auction next month, where the funds will be raised for Cranford Hospice."
Also being auctioned at the main event next month is a David Trubridge sculpture called the "strands of life".
"I like to take risks and go into the unknown to see what we can achieve. The tree represents that for me: overcoming barriers and pushing limits. I was by no means sure that we could do it, but we did and it worked.
"In this piece there are 176km of very fine stainless wire filament which is roughly the distance from Napier to Palmerston North. These are twisted in seven groups of seven strands to make 3.6km of the 1.5mm diameter woven wire. There are 20 bunches of these at the base, each containing 120 wires. Each of these bunches is split into two three times, resulting in 80 bunches of 30 strands at the top."