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Will English wine become a collector’s item?

Fine wine trading platform Liv-ex has recorded its first trade in English wine as more collectors stray from the norms in the secondary market.

Liv-ex said that a six-bottle case of Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvée 2010 had traded on the exchange on Monday 1 August for £120.

It plays into the rising profile of English wines in general and adds to a trend for wines from less heralded parts of the world gaining a foothold in the fine wine market.

But, it remains early days for English wine and the Nyetimber wine purchased on Liv-ex is still available at several retailers.

In the UK, Berry Bros & Rudd this week stocked it for a retail price £26.95 per bottle, Waitrose Cellar was selling it for £31.99 and Majestic was selling the same wine for the equivalent of £36.99.

The broadening fine wine market

In 2010, Bordeaux accounted for more than 95% of trading on Liv-ex.

But that figure has now fallen below 75% as a number of regions have grown in significance: most notably, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and the Rhône.

‘Although these groups represent the majority of activity, wines from around the world regularly trade on the exchange,’ said Liv-ex. ‘This year, the fine wine market has seen activity from New Zealand, Lebanon and Chile, among others.’

Other regions that have traded on Liv-ex this year include: the US, Australia, Spain, Port, the South of France, Alsace, Germany, the Loire, Cognac, Argentina and South Africa.

English wine investment

Earlier this year, Stephen Skelton MW, a renowned English wine industry consultant and regional chair for the UK at the Decanter World Wine Awards, said many English sparkling wines were still undervalued compared to their Champagne equivalents.

Money going into English wine has so far been directed at producers, rather than the wines themselves.

Gusbourne and Chapel Down are both publicly-quoted companies, writes Julia Trustram-Eve, of trade English Wine Producers, on page 108 of the latest issue of Decanter magazine.

Extra reporting & editing by Chris Mercer.

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