According to figures released by the major wine commercial auction houses, and reported by Wine Spectator, worldwide auctions of fine and rare wines reached $408m in 2010, nearly double the previous year’s total.
The driver behind the figures was the steep climb in Hong Kong sales which totaled $165m, a 157% increase over the previous year, and outstripped the US auction sales of $154m which was a 43% increase on the previous year’s sales.
This year marked the first time that Hong Kong sales were worth more than the US and it is a change that auction houses believe will remain for some time to come.
“While more lots of wine are sold in the U.S., Hong Kong continues to bring in much more money per lot,” Wine Spectator reported. “Hong Kong wine auctions target a different audience from those in America, with an almost exclusive emphasis on the rarest wines from the finest vintages.”
Of all the wines auctioned, Château Lafite Rothschild proved the most sought-after in bidding this year, especially the 1982 vintage, which is highly coveted both in North America and Asia.