from Taiwan, with other countries in both Asia and elsewhere making up the remaining 10%. Interestingly, less than 1% of the wine sold was bought by US collectors.
The five New York sales in this year achieved $12.7 million, over the high estimate of $11 million. In addition to buying wine in Hong Kong, Asian collectors have also been very active in these New York sales. In 2009, 32% of wine sold at Sotheby’s New York was bought by Asian collectors, up from 4% just four years ago. All but one of the ten sales held at Sotheby’s London this year surpassed the high estimate. At £1,509 ($2,394) per lot, the average lot value for wine sold at Sotheby’s London this year was the second highest ever. Similarly, sell through rates in London sales were stronger than ever
before - 98% by value. Asian activity was exceptionally strong in London, just as it was elsewhere: 44% of wine sold by value through Sotheby’s London this year up to November 2009 was sold to Asian buyers.
London sales for 2009 concluded on December 9 with the highest-totaling wine auction of the year in London making Sotheby’s the dominant wine auction house in the UK. The 840 lot sale, featuring two magnificent collections, realised a total of £1,794,495. This remarkable result brings the total for Sotheby’s London wine sales for 2009 to £9,297,980 million – making for more than 100% increase in wine sales in London over the last 5 years. 2009 in London was also marked by two remarkable single-owner sales: - The collection from the cellars of Château Cheval Blanc (June 09), which realized £643,689 – double the
presale low estimate. 93% of the lots exceeded high estimate -Wine from the Collection of Baron Frère (September 09), the sale realized £1,149,311, well in excess of high estimate and proceeds from the sale were donated to the Charles Albert Frère Foundation.
Worldwide Wine Buyers by Nationality and Sale Location
London NY HK
Live Online Bidding
This year also saw the introduction of regular live online bidding meaning that collectors can participate over the
internet with a live audio and video feed. The response has been enormously positive. Indeed, the highest price for a single wine lot this year, the $102,850 paid for the David Alvarez Vega Sicilia vertical, was purchased by a live online bidder.
Talking about live online bidding Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s Head of Wine in North America said: “Live online bidding is an innovation that has been very well received and many collectors have taken advantage of participating in our auctions from their homes, offices or hotel rooms. Our ability to take the saleroom to the client in this way has opened up bidding to many more people and added an extra element to our auctions. To sell our top lot of the year to someone bidding live online shows the potential of this exciting new way