Why wine collectors are looking to Asia

Simon Tam, Head of Wine for Christie’s Asia, and industry experts on why the region is fast becoming an epicentre of the wine world

‘The wine culture in Asia is absolutely unstoppable,’ says Simon Tam, Head of Wine for Christie’s Asia, who describes Hong Kong as the ‘wine epicentre of the world, where the delicious West meets the thirsty East.’

For Tam, Hong Kong is the ideal location to source ‘some of the finest vintages from around the world’. Don Weaver, Director of the Harlan Estate, agrees. ‘Those of us in the wine business who have been paying attention have seen a huge momentum in wine coming to Asia, and Hong Kong in particular,’ he says, describing the region as the ‘beating heart’ of the contemporary wine industry.

Christie’s sale Finest and Rarest Wines: Direct from Great Estates epitomises this breadth of choice and quality, offering exceptional and rare vintages from some of the world’s greatest producers. ‘It is the first auction of its kind,’ explains Tam. ‘Christie’s has brought together 84 of the finest estates, vignerons and winemakers from the most sacred vineyards around the world.’ For Weaver, the sale is the chance to consign wines from deep within the Harlan Estate’s private cellar.

The sale is one that continues Christie’s commitment to the very best in wine, with the auction house’s Hong Kong sales attracting loyal collectors including Paulo Pong, Founder of the Altaya Group, a leading player in Asia’s wine industry. ‘I started collecting in my 20s, and came across Christie’s through the auction house’s senior consultant Michael Broadbent,’ Pong explains. ‘I will forever thank him for inviting me to tastings, and telling me about great wines.’

Direct from Great Estates continues this tradition, with many successful bidders offered the opportunity to make a personal visit to represented vineyards across the world. ‘For the last 30 years, we have led and nurtured the wine market in Asia, drawing upon the expertise of a global network — from France, Italy, and all over the world,’ Tam comments.

‘Christie’s will continue to grow and develop the market, both in buying and consigning,’ concludes Tam. ‘We have cultural awareness, experience and expertise, underlined by passion’. Christie’s has, the expert concludes, been at the forefront of the art world for over 250 years ‘ — and wine is a very delicious form of art’.