Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the most sought-after brand among collectors (Pic: Sotheby's)

Deep-pocketed Asian buyers now make up the majority of global wine and spirits buyers at auctions for top brands from DRC to Macallan.

Deep-pocketed Asian buyers now make up 65% of the total wine and spirits buyers in the world in 2020, based on Sotheby’s newly released 2020 Wine & Spirits Market Report.

Despite the pandemic, demand from Asia was bullish and remained unabated. The percentage of Asian buyers was the second highest on record after 2019’s 68%, thanks to the auction house’s nimble adaption to online auctions.

Sotheby’s last year auctioned off US$92 million worth of wines and spirits, with US$35 million coming from 20 online auctions.

Among all the Asian buyers, Hong Kong reclaimed its historic position in the Asian market at 59%, ahead of Taiwan, Mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Asian buyers sothebys
Asian buyers are the driving force behind global wine and sprits sales, with many coming from Hong Kong (Pic: Sotheby’s)

In terms of bidding, what got all the collectors vying for is none other than Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. The storied Burgundian estate retained its top spot in the annual producer rankings for the 8th consecutive year, achieving sales greater than the next six producers combined. Sales totaled US$19.4 million, compared to US$7.2 million in 2013.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s share represents 20% of all wine sales and 48% of all Burgundy sales.

Behind DRC, The Macallan came in second, followed by Petrus, The Dalmore, Jean Louis Chave, Henri Jayer, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite, Domaine Leroy and Haut-Brion.

Demand from buyers in the US were softer last year, largely as a result of Trump administration’s 25% tariffs on French wines.

Spirits continues to be an increasingly important secondary market, growing from 1% of sale share to 19% over just four years, says the auction house, driven by strong interest in Asia.

According to the auction house, Asian buyers now make up 80% of its global spirits sales.

A bottle of Japanese Whisky, Karuizawa 52 Year Old Zodiac Rat Cask, was sold in London for $435,273 last year, setting a new world record.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: