Tag Archives: wine

Hong Kong Now World’s #1 Wine Auction Market, Surpassing London & New York

Sotheby’s Fine Wine Auctions Sell $8 Million Over The Weekend As Chinese Collectors Dominate In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is now the world's top wine auction market, having surpassed London and New York

Hong Kong is now the world's top wine auction market, having surpassed London and New York

This weekend, Sotheby’s began a five-day string of auctions in Hong Kong — continuing until October 8 — with auctions of fine wine from the cellars of two anonymous American collectors. Though one of the world’s newest hubs for wine, due to a combination of ending wine duties, encouraging mainland buyers to take part in wine auctions, and growing demand both in Hong Kong and in mainland China, Hong Kong has within a few short years become the world’s #1 auction market for wine, overtaking traditional leaders London and New York. From James Pomfret in Reuters:

“Asian buyers represented 99 percent of buyers in this two-day sale,” said the head of Sotheby’s international wine department Serena Sutcliffe. “Hong Kong has become Sotheby’s most important wine center, ahead of very successful auctions in New York and London,” she added in a statement.

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Some Of The World’s Top Wines To Be Presented At HK Shangri-La In November

Hong Kong Quickly Becoming One Of World’s Top Destinations For Vintners As Number Of Chinese Wine Aficionados Jumps

The PFV will bring its top wines to Hong Kong in November

The PFV will bring its top wines to Hong Kong in November

We’ve looked at the growing number of wine drinkers in mainland China quite a few times in recent months, particularly in the wake of major wine auctions in Hong Kong which sold 100% of lots, mostly to bidders from throughout China. Along with Hong Kong’s growing status as a major wine hub — rivaling the longtime wine center of Asia, Japan — and budding mainland China wine production and consumption, the city is fast becoming a critical stop for wineries around the world to showcase their goods. In November, the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong will present wines from the 11 members of Primum Familiae Vini, an elite association of wine producing families.

As a PFV press release points out, following Hong Kong the association will take the traveling exhibition to the other two major East Asian wine markets, Tokyo and Shanghai:

At gala dinners, a member of each family will present the family estate and one of its flagship wines that are hard to acquire in the marketplace, paired with specially designed menus. In each city, the gala dinners will be moderated by longtime PFV friend Serena Sutcliffe M.W. head of Sotheby’s Wine Department.

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More American Vintners Looking To Expand In China Market

Growing Interest In “Pú Tao Jiǔ” Among Urban Chinese Spurring Wineries To Intensify Their China Expansion Strategies

By next year, wine imports to China are projected to reach 250,000 tons

By next year, wine imports to China are projected to reach 250,000 tons

China’s growing middle class has emerged over the last 20 years to be one of the world’s most closely-watched demographics, with marketers in virtually every industry keeping a keen eye on every purchasing trend they make. In more recent years, one of the industries that has benefitted the most from this sizeable group’s interest in all things foreign has been wine. Although the vast majority of Chinese are either unfamiliar with foreign wine or simply do not drink it very often (if at all), many vintners see great potential in the market, as target customers in more remote urban areas remain underserved by existing bars, liquor stores or supermarkets, and returnees who’ve traveled, worked or studied abroad often come back to China wine aficionados with a taste for wine.

Although per capita wine consumption in China remains miniscule by comparison, in China’s major cities it is becoming a more popular beverage, particularly in business or family settings, and in recent auctions of fine wine mainland Chinese buyers have increased exponentially, gaining notoriety among seasoned wine investors as intense bidders (and avid drinkers). Trying to maximize their appeal in China while reaching new markets, wineries outside China are working overtime to get their products to the mainland market while promoting wine drinking in China and building sustained brand equity.

As most of these vintners remain completely unknown within China regardless of their size overseas, the Chinese market represents a blank slate of sorts, allowing them to brand themselves at will without the stigmas that may exist in other markets. A good example of this is American wineries, who are often shunned for their European counterparts among American wine aficionados. As the China wine trade has opened up in the last 10 or so years, vintners from California and Washington state in particular have worked to get their bottles in the hands of the emerging Chinese wine drinker, to mixed success. California’s Lodi News-Sentinel, interviewing Van Ruiten Wineries’ Kevin Sherwood, today illustrates some of the opportunities the Chinese market presents for American and other foreign wine producers:

Around 2006 [Sherwood] developed a desire to market to China. It was around the time of the Beijing Olympics that Sherwood started to sense an opportunity. “It’s just as easy to sell to China as it is to go and sell to the restaurants in San Francisco and Walnut Creek,” he said.

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Luxury Watch Brand Richard Mille Opens Flagship Store In Beijing

Watchmaking Iconoclast’s New Location At Jin Bao Street’s Legendale Hotel Features Decor And Accents Shipped From Paris

Richard Mille's flagship store in Beijing brings an air of bygone Europe to Beijing's Jin Bao Street

Richard Mille's flagship store in Beijing brings an air of bygone Europe to Beijing's Jin Bao Street

Richard Mille, the French luxury watch brand,has just opened a flagship store in Beijing’s five-star Legendale Hotel, according to a company press release. Mille’s fixation with high-tech materials and unique alloys inspired by F-1 motorsport and the aerospace industry, has made him one of the most unusual — and fastest-rising — luxury watch forces in the world, and with the flood of spending we’ve seen in China on luxury goods like watches, cars, wine, jewelry and contemporary art, Beijing’s flagship Mille store should attract the city’s free-spending elite in no time.

[T]he flagship occupies 260 square meters of space at this platinum 5-star hotel that represents European elegance and luxury in the heart of this capital of the People’s Republic of China. With such a prime address and grand interiors, Sparkle Roll Group Limited, the exclusive dealer of Richard Mille in PRC, invested HK$45 million in building this flagship in Beijing.

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China Now World’s Fastest-Growing Diamond Market

Country Should Overtake Japan As Second Largest Diamond Market By Sales Volume Within The Year

Diamonds are a "must have" for China's growing luxury consumer class

Diamonds are a "must have" for China's growing luxury consumer class

Falling demand for luxury products of all shades has vaulted China to the top of many lists this year, as demand in developed markets has fallen for everything from luxury cars to five-star hotels. With China’s massive population and growing middle class, even gradual growth in demand can mean a great deal for luxury brands, so diamond producers can continue to be optimistic about the potential for their products in China — soon to be the world’s second largest diamond market by sales, if the projections of Freddy Hanard, chief executive officer of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, are correct.

As the Financial Times writes today, Hanard predicts that diamond sales in China should continue the double-digit growth they saw in the first half of the year to continue throughout the second, and says that sales could possibly double in 2010. As the thirst for luxury products continues to spread in China’s second- and third-tier cities, and wealthier Chinese maintain their desire to diversify luxury and high-value holdings — something that we have seen in recent years as they’ve increasingly purchased luxury cars, gold, rare watches and jewelry, fine wine, contemporary art from China and elsewhere, and real estate — diamonds will probably remain strongly in demand according to all indications.

“China is the world’s fastest growing diamond market. And it can go very fast. It is still discovering diamonds,” said Mr Hanard.

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Auction To Watch: Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art Autumn Sale 2009

Sale Features Works Over 190 Works By Chinese, Japanese and Korean Artists, With Estimates At Over $12 Million US (HK $98 Million)

Up for auction on October 6 in Hong Kong: Cai Guo-Qiang's "Money Net No. 2" (2002)

Up for auction on October 6 in Hong Kong: Cai Guo-Qiang's "Money Net No. 2" (2002)

We will write much more about this upcoming auction as details come in, but today Sotheby’s announced its upcoming autumn auction of contemporary Asian art — featuring top Chinese artists like Cai Guo-Qiang and Zeng Fanzhi as well as Japanese and Korean artists like Yoshitomo Nara and Bae Bien-U. According to the press release, this sale — to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 6 — will follow auctions of Wine and Fine Chinese paintings from October 3-5.

Although the auction includes many top East Asian artists, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the Chinese side. The success of recent Hong Kong auctions, where local buyers have become more numerous as well as more active, gives me a sense that this sale will be one of the year’s highlights. Depending on the turnout, we might be seeing a real turning point in terms of the buyer profile for contemporary Chinese art, and the beginning of the end of western and non-Chinese dominance in purchasing Chinese art.

As Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Asian Art, said, “Sotheby’s Hong Kong once again presents a carefully-curated auction of high-quality works by contemporary artists from across Asia. Highlighting this sale is a selection of seminal creations by some of the most prominent artists in the region including Cai Guo-Qiang, Zeng Fanzhi, Yayoi Kusama and Yoshitomo Nara. The kaleidoscopic array of works brings to the fore the diversity and dynamism of the contemporary Asian art scene, as well as the artists’ unrivalled creativity that is set to captivate our collectors.”

Look for more updates on this auction as we get more details — it’s going to be exciting.

 

Chinese Snapping Up Australian Luxury Properties

Chinese Buyers On Global Shopping Spree, Buying Real Estate And Australian Assets As Prices Remain Lower Than In Recent Years

Chinese buyers have flocked to the Sydney waterfront to buy luxury properties at historically low prices

Chinese buyers have flocked to the Sydney waterfront to buy luxury properties at historically low prices

We have previously written on mainland Chinese buyers scouring the globe to snap up contemporary Chinese art, fine wines and antiques at auction, and in recent months this emerging group of shoppers has become far more visible in places like Australia, where wealthy Chinese buyers have become one of the most motivated buyers of luxury properties. As China Daily writes today, Chinese buyers are converging on some of the best luxury properties in Sydney including big homes on the harbor, and new condominium developments.

Chinese buyers are taking advantage of a number of factors that have benefitted them in the past few years, including a weaker global economy and lower prices on luxury goods of all classes, a stronger focus on spending rather than saving, and a more welcoming Australian property market. With an exchange rate that favors the yuan, relaxed Australian rules on ownership of property by foreigners, and an already populous Chinese community, the time seems right for Chinese with the means to buy some of Sydney’s prime waterfront real estate.

As Jack Levine points out, Australia has become one of the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers, students, and immigrants in the last decade, trailing only the UK and New Zealand:

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