Uncorkings 8.27.2012: Christie’s First Online Auction Nets Nearly $820,000 in Wine Sales

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine.


At Christie’s first online-only auction, $819,715 in wine was purchased, with 88% of the 301 lots on offer sold. The most expensive lot was a case of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, which fetched $42,350. A reported 444 registered bidders from 29 countries participated in the two-week sale that was held from August 6–20.

The 25th-annual Auction of Washington Wines held at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington, from August 16–18, raised more than $2.1 million for Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program. More than 2,200 attendees participated in the weekend-long event.

Delta Airlines has announced its Delta Winemaker Series, which offers California wines to customers flying BusinessElite on flights connecting New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. Selections from acclaimed winemakers such as Heidi Peterson Barrett (La Sirena, Napa Valley, California) and Genevieve Janssens (Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley) will be featured beginning September 1.

According to the industry group New Zealand Winegrowers, annual exports of New Zealand wine increased by 8% to $959.6 million in the 12 months ending June 30, 2012. Wine is New Zealand’s 8th biggest exported good, making the country the 10th largest exporter of wine by value and the 11th largest exporter by volume.

On Thursday, August 23, the California Senate passed a bill sponsored by the Wine Institute allowing the state’s manufacturers or licensed suppliers of wine, beer or spirits to hold consumer sweepstakes or contests. Under the existing law, consumers in California are prohibited to enter a sweepstake or contest conducted by a manufacturer or supplier of alcoholic beverages. The bill now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, and if approved, the law will be effective January 1, 2013. Currently, such sweepstakes and contests are permitted in all of the other 49 states.

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