This autumn Sotheby’s will add France as a new location for its regular series of wine and spirits auctions, with a newly appointed Head of Auction Sales for Continental Europe. The property for these sales will be located in both Beaune and Bordeaux, the two most important trading centres for the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. The move into a fourth major international hub in France comes as Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits division achieved exceptional results for auction sales in New York, London and Hong Kong in the first half of 2021, with a combined total of $58 million.
In conjunction with this expansion, Amayès Aouli has joined Sotheby’s Wine as Head of Auction Sales for Continental Europe. Mr. Aouli will be responsible for leading the growth of Sotheby’s wine business throughout the region, focusing on making France a fourth global hub for our wine and spirits auctions.
“The addition of regular sales of wines and spirits in France this year is a key initiative for us. We anticipate France becoming one of our most important markets, providing sellers in Continental Europe with the greatest access to the global market, and buyers from all around the world will have more ability to buy rare bottles. More than 85% of the value of the wines Sotheby’s sells come from France, so this is long overdue. We believe it is important to have the property for these auctions located in Beaune and Bordeaux, the two most important centres for trading wine in Europe, so we are able to offer collectors a comprehensive range of services. We are delighted to appoint Amayès Aouli as our Head of Auction Sales in Continental Europe. Amayès combines his love of wine with a strong commercial background that has focused on business development and building long-lasting relationships. He has all the skills necessary to build our business in Europe. We are also delighted that Jasper Morris MW has joined our team as a consultant for the Hospices de Beaune sale. Jasper has incredibly deep knowledge about the whole region, illustrated by his recently published 2nd Edition of Inside Burgundy. He has a special relationship with the Hospices de Beaune team led by Ludivine Griveau, so we look forward to benefiting from his insight with each vintage.”
“France is of course one of the largest wine producers in the world, with a historic foothold on the winemaking map. For more than fifty years we have been offering its premium output – first in London, then New York and subsequently Hong Kong – so our expansion into sales in France is long overdue and an endorsement of the strength of the global market.”
Prior to joining Sotheby’s, for the past ten years Mr. Aouli was Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in France, where he played a key role in successfully developing the business across Europe, using his business development skills and marketing expertise to lead many complex, cross-border and wealth-oriented projects. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Mr. Aouli worked for various institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong.
In parallel to his business career, for more than 15 years he has pursued his passion for wine as a collector, building deep knowledge and relationships with winery owners, producers and merchants across Europe, while studying with the WSET (the Wine & Spirit Education Trust)
Fluent in four European languages – French, English, Spanish and Italian – Mr. Aouli joins a global team of over 20 specialists with more than 250 years of cumulative experience in the fine wine and spirits industry, including George Lacey, who was appointed Head of Auction Sales in the UK earlier this year.
Later this autumn, Sotheby’s will host the 161st edition of the Hospices de Beaune’s celebrated and historic annual barrel auction on 21st November – the third Sunday in November, as per tradition. Jasper Morris MW will also be working with the Sotheby’s team as a consultant, supporting the sale, providing tasting notes, vintage reports and video commentary from Beaune. Jasper lives in Burgundy and has just published the 2nd Edition of Inside Burgundy, which is published by Berry Brothers & Rudd Press and is distributed exclusively by Sotheby’s Wine in the United States.
Sotheby’s inaugural sale of Spirits in France will follow in December, and plans are in place for a full roster of wine and spirits sales in 2022, to be announced in due course.
This autumn, beginning 27th September, Sotheby's will stage its first Luxury Week in Paris with a series of four auctions offering jewellery, watches, fashion accessories and design – an expansion of Sotheby’s concept of luxury sales, showcasing the intersection of multiple categories and a reflection today’s collecting habits across disciplines.
Sotheby’s Press Office
London | +44 (0)20 7293 6000 | Matthew Floris | Matthew.Floris@Sothebys.com
Paris | +33 1 53 05 53 66 | Sophie Dufresne | Sophie.Dufresne@Sothebys.com
New York | +1 212 606 7176 | Alexandra Fizer | Alexandra.Fizer@Sothebys.com
Hong Kong | +852 2822 8140 | Nancy Wong | Nancy. Wong@Sothebys.com
About Sotheby’s Wine
Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.
Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.
Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.
In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at www.sothebyswine.com, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.
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