Sotheby’s HK shop to draw in new buyers

Sotheby’s hopes that it’s new shop at its headquarters in Pacific Place will draw in clients who do not currently buy wine at its auctions.

Robert Sleigh, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia, presenting highlights from the Autumn wine sales, including Romanée Conti 2004 (one bottle), Pétrus 2005 (two magnums) and  “Super Second” Cos d’Estournel 2005 (one Imperial)

Robert Sleigh, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia

Speaking at a lunch to celebrate the launch of the new shop, Robert Sleigh the auctioneer’s head of wine in Asia, explained: “Most of our clients don’t buy wine at auction but do drink wine so need to buy it somewhere.”

With only four to five wine auctions a year in Hong Kong, Sleigh said it didn’t give the house much time to “interact” with customers but that there was an on-going, “significant” demand for wines with “quality and provenance”.

Since starting wine auctions in Hong Kong in 2009, Sotheby’s sales there have realised HK$1.4 billion (US$184m) and Sleigh added that there is no doubt Asia is continuing to drive the market and has been since 2006.

The shop will range from “investment grade” to “everyday options”, from a 12-litre bottle of 2000 Haut-Brion for $280,000 to Château Berreyre, Bordeaux Superior 2010 for $148 a bottle.

Although wine is not Sotheby’s driving category, Sleigh said that buyers from all other sales had to come to the headquarters to confirm their payments and with thousands of such buyers passing through every year, the wine display was bound to attract attention.

Sleigh said they would try and keep around 50 wines under $500 a bottle on the list, there would be free delivery in Hong Kong for all orders over $3,000 and specialists would be able to offer advice on building a cellar, when to drink particular vintages and how to host a wine tasting or dinner party.

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