Best-selling wine at auction | Which regions to invest in

Here we take a look at the results of some of the top wine regions at auction. This kind of analysis can help you decide how to split your cellar in a way that best suits your investment interests. So, which areas have been the most successful? And what does this tell us about current trends on the market?

Bordeaux vs Burgundy

As per usual, Bordeaux and Burgundy are neck and neck when it comes to the top spot for best-selling region. In fact, in 2021, they each got a share of the crown, as the volume of Bordeaux bottles auctioned was the highest, whilst Burgundy brought it the most value.

Taking a closer look, the number of Bordeaux wines sold at auction grew by 21.5% across the year, making up 40.5% of total sales. The overall value auctioned from this region, although not as impressive as its rival, still saw an increase of 18.4%, thus making up 33.9% of total sales in value. The region’s top three estates remain unchanged, with Petrus, Mouton Rothschild, and Lafite Rothschild still dominating.

As for Burgundy, the reverse is true. Whilst the number of bottles from the region dropped by 7.7% at auction, making up 22% overall, in value the figures are much more promising. An increase of 22.3% in value sold means that Burgundy now makes up 38.3% of our total sales…the region’s upward trajectory is showing no signs of slowing down. It was towards the end of 2021 that we saw prices skyrocket, especially for bottles from such illustrious estates as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Leroy, Auvenay, Roumier, and Bizot.

Quite logically, then, Burgundy’s average bottle price has shot up by 33%, reaching a new high of €242. This is the top average figure for 2021, leading us to wonder how long the region’s astounding success can last. Judging by the results we’ve seen since the start of the year, there has been no significant change to the situation. Bordeaux’s average bottle price, on the other hand, dropped ever so slightly across the year, settling at €116. This represents a decrease of 3% on the previous year, keeping this classic region in a more accessible category when it comes to good investments. It’s worth noting that Bordeaux has not lost its reputation as a solid and worthy wine region, rather that the Burgundy’s performance has outshone its rival in recent years.

Languedoc on the rise, carried by La Grange des Pères

Whilst the number of Languedoc-Roussillon wines auctioned in 2021 was stable, the value represented saw an astonishing increase of 71.1%! Whilst the actual figure represents ‘just’ 2.3% of the year’s overall hammer prices, we can’t ignore such impressive progress. The region’s average bottle price has grown by a huge 72%, settling at €107 for now.

La Grange des Pères is the Languedoc domain propelling most of this progress at auction. A true champion of the region, its value has increased continuously over the past few years, with a notable acceleration following the death of its talented winemaker, Laurent Vaillé, in April of 2021. In terms of value, this domain alone has soared by 120%, whilst just 16% more bottles were sold.

Rhône, Champagne, Provence and Corsica

The results from these four wine regions have given us much to think about. Whilst their share of sales hasn’t shifted all that much, they have each seen their average bottle price grow significantly, demonstrating their strength in the auction market.

The Champagne region actually comes in second, behind Burgundy, when it comes to average price per bottle, recording a figure of €182. This is an increase of 16%, giving the region so famous for its fizz something to celebrate after suffering more than its neighbours in the midst of the covid crisis. In third place, we find the Rhône Valley, whose average price has made solid progress of 22% to reach €137. Much like what we saw for the Languedoc, the region’s positive results can largely be attributed to the produce of a single domain, in this case Château Rayas. Emmanuel Reynaud’s other properties play a part in this, too.

Finally, something for smaller budgets, or indeed a way to diversify an almost-comprehensive cellar, we have Provence and Corsica. Some of the signatures from these southern climes are making their presence more and more noteworthy in our auction results, and this is reflected in their respective average prices; Provence increased by 15% to €63, and Corsica by 13% to a figure of €32.

As you can see, there’s plenty to be considered when making the choices for your cellar, and investment offers a sometimes complex but often fascinating perspective on the world of wine.

If you’d like to read our full and in-depth analysis of 2021’s auction results, we’ve just published our latest Barometer! You can buy it here.