3 June 2010 23:19
Something happened this weekend here in Hong Kong that made me reflect upon the early days of my wine career, in the late 1980’s, when new customs regulations in England allowed travellers to hop over the channel to France, load up their car with wine, and bring it home to the UK, without any duty charges.
The “Grande Finale"
to Vinexpo Asia in Hong Kong this week was two auctions conducted on Friday and Saturday, one by New York auctioneer Acker Merrill which raised some HK$152million (£13m/US$20m), and running concurrently was Christies sale of their “liquid Gold” Chateau Yquem collection
. As both of these sales contained items originally supplied by The Antique Wine Company, especially numerous older vintages in the Christies Yquem collection, it was very satisfying to see this lot achieve HK$8m. Following the sale, David Elswood informed me that it had become the firms “biggest wine lot ever lot sold”, falling only slightly short of that achieved by The Antique Wine Company in 2007 when we supplied the unbroken line of Yquem vintages 1855-2005 to a French buyer for $1.5m. But what I find especially surprising is the fact that the Yquem sold last weekend was, according to Christies, purchased by a EUROPEAN PRIVATE BUYER!
With Europeans going to Hong Kong to buy wine, it seems that the former colony’s desire to become the “Fine Wine Hub for Asia”
is not only being achieved, but might well go beyond their dreams and aspirations to become the “Fine Wine Hub for The World”!
Here at The Antique Wine Company we are currently sitting on an even larger collection of Chateau d’Yquem with various other documents and items from the bygone Lur Saluces era.
In the aftermath of the exciting auction I was asked “will you sell it in Asia?” I replied, “it might be best to keep it until the Chinese market really gets going”!