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 confirms: ‘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,’ describing the region as the ‘beating heart’ of the contemporary wine industry.

Two auctions of Fine and Rare Wines at Christie’s Hong Kong in November 2016 are sure to solidify the region’s status as the ‘wine epicentre of the world’. A Gentleman’s Collection, to be offered on 25 and 26 November, will present one of the finest single-owner collections ever brought to auction, featuring Finest and Rarest wines that are almost impossible to find. Says Tim Tiptree, Christie’s Head of Sales for wines, A Gentleman’s Collection is an opportunity to buy ‘once in a lifetime’ wines such as Mouton Rothschild 1945, Cheval Blanc 1947, Lafite Rothschild 1959, Yquem 1921 and many more.

On 26 November, the Fine and Rare Wines sale continues with a number of single-owner collections, including the very best from Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, an impressive selection of Classed Growth Bordeaux and rare Vertical Collections of Latour and Mouton Rothschild.

For Christie’s, the November auctions are an opportunity to build on the stunning success of its May 2016 sale,Finest and Rarest Wines: Direct from Great Estates,HK$7,885,080, selling 95 per cent by lot and 94 per cent by value. The top lot, a Domaine de La Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti 2005, realised HK$343,000.

‘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.’