Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide sales reached an important new milestone in 2018, with sales significantly exceeding $100 million in a single year.
Below is a look at some of the highlights of both our auction and retail sales that drove these exceptional results.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, commented: “2018 has been a record-setting year
for Sotheby’s Wine in all areas of our business, and surpassing $100 million is a significant milestone
in the growth of our wine and spirits business. We continue to achieve record prices at both auction
and retail, as well as present the most important single-cellar collections, tailoring each one to suit
the wines in the collection. In addition, we have continued to innovate with the launch of our Wine
Advisory Services business and Instant Cellars, and make important developments in the sales of
spirits through our new online platform. We are looking forward to 2019, with plans to introduce new
features and services, as well as announcing a series of outstanding single owner auctions.”
• In March, Sotheby’s set a world record for any wine sales series when a two-day series of
auctions in Hong Kong brought a combined total of HK$228,300,300 / US$29,090,025.
Comprising 1,758 lots, The Philanthropist’s Cellar, The Cellar from the Estate of Jerry
Perenchio, and Finest & Rarest Wines were 100% sold.
• The Philanthropist’s Cellar – Sotheby’s highest value single-owner wine sale in Asia – totaled
HK$127,224,435/ US$16,210,938, with buyers from Asia accounting for 85% of the lots sold.
Assembled over three decades by an anonymous Asian collector, this extraordinary
collection of mature Bordeaux and Burgundy was sold to benefit charitable causes, with all
net proceeds being donated to improved health and education conditions of children and
young adults in rural China.
• In October, two exceptional bottles of Romanée Conti DRC 1945 both shattered the previous
world auction record for a single bottle of wine of any size when they sold for $558,000 and
$496,000, respectively. The wines were offered as part of a ‘white-glove’ (100% sold)
auction of rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti emerging from the personal cellar of Robert
Drouhin, which totaled $7.3 million – more than five times its high estimate.
• The same day, The Macallan 1926 60 Years Old (Sir Peter Blake Label) sold for $843,200,
becoming the most expensive spirit sold at auction in North America, and the highest price in
Sotheby’s history for a single spirit.
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