Australia’s leading wine auctioneers has issued a warning to its clients against unscrupulous wine investment brokers.

High-end Australian wine has become the latest drinks investment craze, particularly for cult wines like Torbreck and Wild Duck Creek that have attracted high scores from Robert Parker.

Andrew Caillard MW and Stephen Langton of major Australian auction house Langton’s said today, ‘Many wine investment brokers are not delivering on their promises. Some brokers are blatantly misguiding their clients with unrealistic market valuations and expectations.’

Langton’s gave the example of an invester who was currently expecting a return of approximately AUS$18,000 on portfolios of wine he bought for AUS$32,400 in 2002.

‘The investor received evaluations in April and September 2003 stating that market value of the portfolios was AUS$33,083 and $34,493 respectively. These evaluations are grossly exaggerated and self-fulfilling.

‘Unfortunately this is not an isolated case. Ill-informed buyers are being seduced by overstated media reports and over-optimistic sales pitches. Many of these wine investment schemes are based on a wing and a prayer.’

Langton’s points out that brokers offering returns through establishing networks or using auction houses in the US are not taking into account the difficulty of importing wine into the US.

It warns that demand in the US for ‘most ultra-fine Australian wine is still relatively weak’.

NB AUS$1.00=€0.58

For more information contact investdrinks.org

Written by Jim Budd