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Sotheby's Wine set for bumper autumn sales series

Sotheby's Wine is preparing for an extensive series of wine and spirit auctions this autumn after an exceptional 2020 so far.

The auction house clocked up sales exceeding $49 million (£37.2 million) across 20 auctions in the first eight months of the year, with more than 6,700 lots sold and $28 million (£21.3 million) worth of wines and spirits sold online.

Sotheby's says a key driver of the success was in reaching a new and younger audience, with 50 per cent of first-time bidders aged in their 20s or 30s. The online auctions have also been picking up pace, with more than 1,000 bidders from 40 countries participating.

More than 20 wines and spirits sales - both live and online - are scheduled to take place between September and December, including five auctions dedicated to private collections. The company's five single-owner sales held thus far in 2020 have netted $26 million (£19.8 million) - 58 per cent of total sales.

Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby's Wine, said: "Innovation has long been at the heart of Sotheby's Wine but never has it been quite so critical to our business as it has been over the past few months. As the pandemic swept across the globe we have adapted, transitioning our business online and embracing the endless possibilities that technology and the digital age have to offer. 

"These digital tools enable us to reach a much broader, younger and more dynamic market, while we continue to enjoy the support of our traditional clients."

9 September 2020 - Bethany Whymark