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Wine Spectator: Global Auction Market Had A Big Year In 2018, With Records Set On Many Fronts

January 28, 2019

2018 was a winning year for wine auctions, according to a new analysis from Wine Spectator. Bidders paid record prices for a host of rarities ranging from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti 1945 to Sassicaia 1985 to The Macallan 60-year-old Whisky 1926. Worldwide wine-auction totals (culled from sales conducted in the U.S., U.K., Geneva, Hong Kong, and Shanghai markets, plus online sales) rose an impressive 26% to $479.7 million, up from $381.7 million in 2017, narrowly eclipsing the previous global record of $478 million in 2011.

The last quarter of 2018 more than matched the impressive performances in the first half and third quarter of the year. Sales in the U.S. climbed nearly 20% over 2017 to $222 million.

Among the top auction houses, Acker Merrall & Condit led the pack with $105.2 million in overall sales, followed by Sotheby’s at $98.1 million and Zachys at $80.7 million. Hart Davis Hart realized $67.9 million in live auction sales, a record for them, and another $9.2 million in auctions on their mobile app, the highest combined domestic tally. For the eighth year in a row, the firm sold 100% of the lots on offer. Wine Spectator has the full analysis.—Peter D. Meltzer

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