The first half of 2014 has been a tremendous success for our company, our bidders, our consignors and our retail buyers. I am proud to announce that HDH is the #1 wine auction house in America halfway through the year. With four auctions under our belt, HDH has accrued $24.7M in auction sales, which represents a 23.3% growth rate over 2013. We have seen record hammer prices across many wine categories, which we attribute to robust US demand and continued growth and interest from several international markets.
I believe the success we have experienced this year is the direct result of three things: 1) strong consignments, 2) our discipline and approach, and 3) our relationships with top collectors globally.
We have capitalized on the opportunity to offer a remarkable number of strong consignments in 2014. Our first sale kicked off with an astounding collection from the late H.B. Harris, Jr. in February. This single-owner auction featured historic vintages of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, and the sale’s results demonstrate the quality and rarity of the wines ($7.5M realized compared to pre-sale estimates of $4.0-$6.0M). Buyers flocked from around the globe because of the provenance of this collection. I cannot recall ever seeing the auction room buzzing with as much energy as it did that day. We followed the Harris sale with additional single-owner collections, including parcels of Bordeaux from the Wine Trust Collection (March auction), installments from the Fox Cellar (May and June auctions), gems from the Thomas E. Bentley Cellar (June auction), and an astonishing group of wines from the Nelson-Lo Collection (June auction). Our third annual Celebration of Burgundy was successful yet again and yielded strong results ($4.1M realized compared to pre-sale estimates of $2.6-$3.9M). In total, HDH offered more than 6,400 lots thus far this year, providing a vast selection of wines to meet the needs of both our trade clients and private collectors.
At HDH, we credit our success to our discipline and approach. We care about doing things the right way, from inspection to cataloging to shipping. We emphasize that details matter and we take provenance very seriously. We take care in the way we handle wine and we are committed to providing exceptional service in all areas of our business. Simply put, our clients trust us with their wine, whether they are selling a large family collection or buying their first bottle.
Lastly, our relationships with top collectors globally have enabled us to bring together a worldwide network of buyers. As a result of continued growth and interest, HDH has made investments abroad and spread its team across the globe. We have continued to meet face-to-face with clients for tastings, dinners and seminars on wine. From Los Angeles to New York, China to Brazil, our team has dedicated time and effort to meet with collectors and understand their needs. The direct result of this effort is that our sales have diversified internationally, with more than one-third of auctionsales going to Asia, Latin America and Europe.
I hope this report will provide additional clarity on our business and the market as a whole. Please feel free to contact me personally to discuss the market or your buying and selling needs.
If you’d like to learn more about HDH’s activity in the first half of 2014, please view our mid-year report.