Former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is to sell off a substantial chunk of his wine collection via three auctions organised by Christie’s.
Some 5,000 bottles of wine belonging to the 73-year-old Glaswegian, including a vast amount of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, will be sold alongside signed football memorabilia in three auctions that are expected to raise £3m.
The first auction will take place in Hong Kong on 24 May, where 257 of the 482 lots will be sold.
A follow-up auction will take place in London on 5 June comprising 140 lots, with the remaining 85 lots being sold off via an online auction taking place from 9-23 June. All online buyers will receive a catalogue signed by Ferguson.
A signed Imperial of Ornellaia 2006 will go under the hammer
“The importance of collecting wine was that it served as a distraction and gave me a balance in my life that helped me in dealing with the intensity and demands required of me as the manager of Manchester United,” said Ferguson, whose interest in wine began during a scouting trip to France.
“In retirement, I now have the time to visit the places and people that will feed my passion, so felt it made sense to release a large number of the wines I had collected over the years. I hope many will enjoy exploring my collection,” he added.
Among the highlights of the auction are six bottles of DRC 1999 sold with a signed Champions League shirt from 1999, which carries an estimate of £50,000-60,000.
A case of Pétrus 2000 meanwhile is expected to fetch £30,000-40,000, while signed Imperials of Sassicaia 2005 and Ornellaia 2006 both carry estimates of £800-950.
First growth Bordeaux dating from 1986 to 2011 will also be sold at the auction, with all bottles carrying Prooftags to preserve their provenance.
“This collection includes one of the most comprehensive groups of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that we have ever offered at auction,” said Christie’s head of wine, David Elswood.
“It is remarkable to see that Sir Alex’s talent of picking quality players for the pitch also extends to picking sensational wines for the cellar,” he added.
During his long career managing Manchester United, Ferguson has won two European Cups, 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Inter-Continental Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup.