• Business never tasted so sweet!

    15 May 2008

    Aside from becoming a popular lifestyle choice, investment in fine wine, like fine art, has been known to outperform even the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones, offering significant returns without the volatility of the stock market.   

    The global demand for fine wine, which is produced in very small quantities, has increased enormously over the last two decades, making it an attractive option for individuals looking to invest.  The wine investment market is expected to grow from $220 million to $980 million in the next ten years.   

    The Asian fine wine market in particular is becoming stronger every day, with Asian investors expected to account for $500 million by 2012 and $970 million of the world market by 2017.  Wine consumption in Asia too is growing at five times the global average and some of the world’s most respected collectors are now based in the region. 

    Added to this the recent announcement from the Hong Kong government to abolish all remaining duties on wine, and Hong Kong looks set to become the wine hub of Asia’s leading world renowned auction houses such as Christies and Sothebys, already reopening their doors in the knowledge that up to 40% of auction purchases now return to China.  

    For Platinum Wines, a fine wine investment company based in Hong Kong, led by Managing Director Troy Sadler, it is an exciting time.  Clients are given the opportunity to build a collection of some of the finest wines in the world, and to profit from them as an investment or to simply enjoy them at their leisure. 

    “We provide a complete service in building private collections of both boutique and blue chip Australian and French vintage wines tailored to our client’s individual tastes and investment objectives.  It is our mission to provide the very best of the new world and the old world to our investors”, says Sadler. 

    Working in conjunction with Crown Wine Cellars, Platinum Wines not only meets the demands of a growing number of Asian investors by cutting through the red tape of importing fine wines into China, but also provides investors with a state of the art wine storage facility in perfect conditions at the highest standards giving purchasers complete confidence that their investments will not only retain its value but increase over time.  Indeed, every purchase from Platinum comes with a full three years of storage at Crown Wine Cellars.  

    “Most investment quality wines are sold on the basis that they will be held for a minimum of five years, so it comes as no surprise that a wine that has been stored under perfect conditions and comes with the certification to support this claim will fetch more at auction in later years than a wine that has not been stored properly and that actually declines in value”, adds Sadler. 

    Through its expertise and established sources, Platinum Wines has access to the best, high-end, limited production, collectible Australian and French wines and assists clients with their fine wine investment from beginning to end.  The process starts with Platinum Wines sourcing the appropriate wines, purchasing them from the vineyards, shipping them to Hong Kong, storing them at Crown Wine Cellars, and finally identifying the best time and market to on-sell the wines for the investor. 

    Every one of Platinum Wine’s clients is assigned their own portfolio manager, who contacts them as wines that suit their specific requirements become available.  Platinum then makes every endeavour to educate clients in the world of fine wines and provide information on the winemakers and the regions in which they operate, together with tasting notes, valuations, critics’ ratings and awards. 

    “We have the experience to focus only on the top wines from the best vintages and know only too well that only a fraction of the wines produced worldwide will increase with value if kept.  It is also essential to understand the practice of assigning scores and the effect that influential wine critics such as Robert Parker have on the wine market.  Many wine merchants, brokers and auction houses, including Platinum, include these scores in their wine descriptions, and wineries use them to market their wine”. 

    In an industry where wine companies are consolidating and the big retailers are trimming down their range, Platinum Wine prides itself on supporting smaller high-end producers.  Wine is chosen on quality rather than label and price and as a result offers are exclusive and hard to find elsewhere.  In short, clients are provided with a unique channel to connect with smaller high-end producers not normally available to the public.  Furthermore, investors working alongside Platinum Wines are provided with a range of exit strategies through domestic and international networks of dealers, merchants and online auction houses.  

    “Any investment is about supply and demand.  Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council has made it clear where they think the industry is headed in the next ten years.  The fact that Hong Kong’s first auction since the government’s recent announcement on the reduction of tariffs, held by Bonham’s at Crown Wine Cellars, achieved a 96% clearance rate and took HK$12 million on the night, is living testimony to the growing strength of the market.  At the end of the day,  I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about the market to meet the brokers face to face, perform their own due diligence and most of all, to have fun!”, concludes Sadler.


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