While looking back at last year’s auctions, iDealwine couldn’t help but draw lines between the world of wine and what was happening in the economic, technological, economic and geo-political spheres as well as the environmental and climate events that occurred. Let’s take a look at ten significant facts from 2022 and their impact on the auction market.
1 – iDealwine, a leader of online wine auctions
In 2022, one out of every three bottles that were bought at auction in France were sold by IWA (International Wine Auction), a subsidiary of iDealwine and operator of registered auction sales. iDealwine currently gives wine lovers in over 60 countries access to the exceptional variety of wines in its catalogues. The Covid pandemic accelerated the digitalisation of the entire auction market, of which iDealwine was a pioneering figure.
2 – A contrasting geo-political and economic backdrop
Even if the successive covid lockdowns seem behind us, their effects were still being felt throughout 2022. Luckily for the world of wine, bars and restaurants were able to open again and Tourism recovered – unfortunately, without tourists from China, as their movement was still restricted.
But not everything was rosy – rising costs of raw materials and energy could certainly be felt. Added to that, the geo-political tension which was intensified by the war in Ukraine heavily influenced the economy. The GDP growth in France slowed over the second half of 2022 and settled at 2.6% for the whole year according to INSEE, the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.
What did this mean for wine and spirits? Well, they saw an increase in their prices too. The end of logistical problems caused by the covid pandemic stimulated a strong take-up of exports which grew by 10.8% to reach a new record of €17.2 billion. Wines made up 60% of this figure, standing at €10.4 billion, demonstrating once again that it is a major economic asset to the French economy.
3 – A year of two contrasting halves
2022 was a year of two vastly different halves. While the first six months of 2022 witnessed a rise in prices like no other, the second saw a (welcomed) calming to the rush of records seen on the fine wine market. A few points to take away:
- Price rises in the first half of the year:
- Saw the prices for some collectable bottles increase in value sometimes by percentages of two or three figures,
- Meant that wine enthusiasts favoured investing in grape’s nectar over other means of investment,
- Resulted in an increase of premium buyers from around the world.
- Some icons saw their prices plateau in the second half of the year as a direct result of financial policies raising the interest rates in order to counteract inflation.
4 – Favourable interest rates for those in the USA and Asia
After several years of restrictions linked to the pandemic and import fees put in place by the Trump administration, American wine lovers enjoyed a favourable dollar to euro exchange rate which amplified their appetite for wines sold by iDealwine. In Asia, where the weak euro also benefited buyers, wine enthusiasts also snapped up many bottles and there was a strong growth in sales in other countries like Singapore and South Korea.
5 – A brilliant year for bubbles
After two hard years for the region, Champagne once again saw heightened interest in its sparkling wine. The 326 million bottles shipped went for a record €6 billion. Other sparkling wines also had a great year at iDealwine auctions.
6 – 2021, a vintage marked by unpredictable weather
It is impossible to talk about the 2021 vintage without mentioning the unpredictable weather. Some dramatic episodes of frost, which struck the regions of Burgundy, Loire (Muscadet, in particular), Jura, Savoie, and Bordeaux, destroyed a good third, and even more in some places, of the harvest. White wines and Champagnes saw their volumes decrease and, on the whole, the harvest was 20% less than the one from 2020 and 13% lower than the average from the past six years.
7 – The charitable world of wine
As we have seen, wine is an economic weapon, but it can also be the basis for charitable acts. For several years now, iDealwine has supported the Vendanges Solidaires association, which helps winemakers who have been affected by adverse weather conditions (frost, hail, etc.) financially. The 2022 online auction for the cause, comprised of bottles gathered by the association, took place in December and raised close to €40,000.
See article: CHARITY AUCTION FOR VENDANGES SOLIDAIRES
iDealwine was also the setting for an auction of 300 lots to raise money for France Ukraine Amitié association which donated the money (more than €75,000) to Ukraine’s civilian population.
See article: UKRAINE CHARITY AUCTION | OVER €75,000 RAISED
8 – The wonderful rise of spirits
This trend grows year after year and is a result of the ever-growing passion for spirits, especially by those in their 30s. The success of sales on Fine Spirits Auction, an auction website launched by iDealwine in partnership with La Maison du Whisky (leading spirit retailer in France), reflects this:
- 7 auctions took place
- 4,457 bottles went under the hammer (58% more than the volume sold in 2021)
- Total: €2.938 million (+82%)
- Some bottles were worth several thousand euros such as the Japanese Yamazaki 1979 Mizunara Cask (only 294 bottles were produced): €36,240
9 – Wine, NFTs and WineDex©
Always keeping up with the latest innovations, iDealwine has also entered the world of NFTs (created in 2015), a way of associating ownership to a single image, object or video and integrating it into the blockchain. Possessing an NFT means entering into a club reserved for collectors and it’s no surprise that the world of wine is also a part of this club.
Always interested in this topic, iDealwine entered this world in the end of 2019 with WineDex © which has been affixed to the most priceless bottles. This tamper-proof tag guarantees a permanent link between the bottle and its information by storing this data on the blockchain. 15,000 bottles have been equipped with a WineDex© tag since its launch.
10 – Art and wines: a rendezvous at auction
In May 2022, iDealwine took another step in developing its projects by establishing a bridge between wine, art, and auctions through a collaboration with Château Edmus. This property created a limited series of 20 magnums from the Phi 2015 cuvée whose labels featured unique artwork by the tattoo artist, Dimitri HK. The auction was a huge success with N°1 magnum selling for €5,216 at auction.
See article : NFT magnums fetch 7 times their estimate!
We hope that you enjoyed reading this round-up of significant facts that emerged from our auction analysis of 2022. If you would like to read more, our annual Barometer has just been released.