Sotheby’s is privileged to present The Philanthropist’s Cellar: An Extraordinary Collection Sold to Benefit Charitable Causes, potentially the company’s largest-ever single-owner wine sale in Asia, on 31 March 2018. Estimated at approximately HK$60 million / US$7.7 million, The Philanthropist’s Cellar offers 800 lots of wines from the collection of a long-established wine connoisseur which has been assembled over three decades. All net sale proceeds will be donated to improve health and education conditions of children and young adults in rural China, mainly through the efforts of the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) of Stanford University, the major beneficiary of the sale.
I would like to thank the anonymous consignor, whom I have known for over 20 years, for his great generosity and for entrusting Sotheby’s with this hugely important sale. This is probably the most magnificent wine collection ever to come to auction in Hong Kong, and the most valuable sale almost anywhere else in the world from which the entire net sales proceeds are donated to charity. This auction is excellent news not only for the most discerning wine lovers, but also many of those who are much less fortunate than us in this world.
The Philanthropist’s Cellar is the epitome of the life-long passion and exquisite taste of an articulate wine collector. What distinguishes this collection is the combination of the depth and breadth of the greatest wines ever made in Bordeaux, combined with the provenance of stock, with the vast majority still stored in original wooden case.
Many of these wines were acquired in the late 1980s and early 1990s from reputable sources including Sotheby’s London and established UK wine merchants. A vast majority of vintages from 1988 and onwards were purchased “En Primeur”. After purchase the wines were stored at Trapp’s Cellars in London until 2003, when all wines were transferred to Octavian Vaults, in Wiltshire. All wines have been stored in ideal, cool and humid conditions, having rarely been moved.
It is an honour to bring such an extraordinary collection and story to market. I can honestly say that in the many years of being in the fine wine industry, I have never seen a collection with such depth of the greatest wines of Bordeaux, nor one of which so many of the wine are still in their original cases, having been sleeping for all these years! The numbers are staggering.<br><br> Having the opportunity to crack open the cases and inspect these historic gems is a memory that will not be forgotten, I look forward to recounting these inspection stories and the great generosity of this kind Philanthropist with wine lovers across Asia and the world. Working on this project has been a privilege and to learn about the fantastic work that Scott Rozelle and the REAP Team at Stanford University do, both fascinating and humbling. The fact that these important projects are the main benefactor from this sale is an added reward for myself and hopefully wine lovers alike!
Having the opportunity to crack open the cases and inspect these historic gems is a memory that will not be forgotten, I look forward to recounting these inspection stories and the great generosity of this kind Philanthropist with wine lovers across Asia and the world. Working on this project has been a privilege and to learn about the fantastic work that Scott Rozelle and the REAP Team at Stanford University do, both fascinating and humbling. The fact that these important projects are the main benefactor from this sale is an added reward for myself and hopefully wine lovers alike!
HELPING CHILDREN IN RURAL CHINA
Upon the consignor’s wish, net proceeds from the auction will be used to fund projects that improve health and education for children and young adults in the less privileged rural areas of China. The collector’s philanthropic interests in China could be traced back to the early 1990s during a visit to the country when he was struck by the primitive living conditions in rural areas. Years passed, he had the opportunity to be introduced to Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP) and its Director, Dr. Scott Rozelle, who has spearheaded a great many initiatives which resonate with the collector’s philanthropic beliefs.
While children in China’s prosperous cities are excelling, China’s rural poor are falling far behind. Since the 1990s, REAP - a research and policy advocacy organisation based at Stanford University - has been working in thousands of rural communities across China to bring quality health and education to the poorest and their families. Its ultimate goal is to help these children to escape poverty and better contribute to China’s developing economy. Funds raised through this sale will support innovative projects that bring effective solutions to China’s rural interior, focusing mainly on the improvement of early children education, nutrition and health.
On behalf of our entire Rural Education Action Program (REAP) team, I want to express our deepest appreciation to the Philanthropist of the Philanthropist’s Cellar. The proceeds of the Wine Auction are to be used fully to design and rollout four new Action Research projects. The projects are creative and they will lead to scientific discoveries. Together, we can change the lives of tens of thousands of young children!