Luxury Wine Auctions and Cultural aspects to consider for marketing Wines globally

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr) At the time when the fine wine auctions' season starts in New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Chicago and Hong Kong, it is a great opportunity to consider an aspect of wine marketing: selling a luxury wine internationally does imply that communication is differientated according to the economic situation and to the cultural aspects of the different regions (Europe, America or Asia).

In the coming weeks, more than $15 million worth of first-growth Bordeaux and Burgundies will be going under the hammers. Zachy's began the auction season during the weekend in Hong Kong with more than 900 lots on offer, including 1990 La Tache Domaine de la Romanee Conti, which sold for $50,262, and cases of 1989, '90 and '95 Chateau Petrus which fetched $40,837, $40,837 and $23,560 respectively. In fact Hong Kong, again this year, will be the hottest place for luxury wines. Acker Merrall & Condit will offer a six-pack of magnums of 1971 Romanee Conti, three cases of 1982 Chateau Petrus and three cases of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Christie's will also be offering lots in Hong Kong which include more than 80 cases of Lafite-Rothschild with high-end estimates of $11,000 to $24,500 depending on the vintage. Also in Hong Kong, Sotheby's will offer a massive collection of Chateau Lafite dating back to 1869 (one bottle of 1869 with an estimate of $8,000). Of course, these are about the most glamourous lots but there will be many more and not only in Hong Kong but everywhere in the world. How will collectors react? Will all the wine auctions in the world be as successful as the ones in Hong Kong? At this point, two major points could be considered to understand the success of some auctions:

1) Depending on the region, buyers are not in the same mood and will make acquisitions according to their expectations in a near future. In the US, the consumer mood is biased toward lower price points and increased talk of a double dip recession does not inspire confidence. In Asia (excl. Japan), the market seems to be the least price sensitive in the world and the booming economy gives buyers a very positive mood to acquire the best wines at any price. In Europe and Japan, the market is somewhere in between.

2) Depending on the region and the cultural aspects, buyers won't make their decisions for the same reasons. Of course, all of these wines need credibility to be offered and acquired at high prices but, again, depending on the region, wine lovers/collectors do not share the same behaviours. European and japanese collectors are very much attached to the history of the wine estates and the success they gained through decades or even centuries. On the contrary, the need for credibility through established reputation is less of an impediment in the US. Having some good history is merely icing on the cake. Americans are much more concerned with style, quality and performance. Finally asian collectors are right in the middle but tend to favour an other aspect when they are in the process of acquiring luxury wines: the "social status impact".

Having briefly considered these two points, I wish all the best to all the bidders who may either make a good investment for their future pension or enjoy with wine lovers some of the best wines Nature could have ever made in this world...(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr)