Allegrini 2018

Gelardini & Romani and Finarte combine Italian wine, in Hong Kong, May 17th

Romani: “extraordinary response, there is thirst for great Italian labels”. Groppi (Finarte): “we represent Italian wine”

We told this story almost two months ago (here), and now the idea of Raimondo Romani, at the helm, together with Flaviano Gelardini, of Gelardini & Romani Wine Auctions, of a big auction, in Hong Kong, with the protagonists of fine Italian wines from the main designations, from Brunello di Montalcino to Barolo, from Super Tuscans to Etna, involving wineries, merchants, collectors and not only, to relaunch the world of fine wines of the Belpaese, weakened by the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 emergency, is reality. On May 17, in Hong Kong, where the health emergency is now behind us and the gears of production activities are starting again, in partnership with Finarte, 752 lots of wine will end up under the hammer, all of them from the Belpaese, from Sassicaia to Brunello di Montalcino Riserva di Biondi Santi, from Sangiovese di Case Basse (Soldera) to Barolo Monfortino Riserva di Giacomo Conterno.
“It’s like a theatrical premiere”, Raimondo Romani tells WineNews, “and as such there are trepidation and unknowns, but we are very happy, because it’s the first ever wine auction in Hong Kong since the beginning of 2020, and it’s been very interesting, it's been difficult even to find a place for everyone. I also deserve credit for the 12 wine dinners organized with the young Master of Wine Sarah Heller, which went very well. In the end, we managed to do what even Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Acker Merrall & Condit couldn’t do, putting together a good part of Italy’s wine. After all”, continues Romani, “there is a great hunger for Italian wine here, perhaps we could have done even more, demand is much higher than supply: the average turnover of wine auctions is almost 20 million euros per month, and wine has been missing for months and months. In addition, the physical auction resists, it can hardly be replaced by online, and I am convinced that we should aim to have increasingly richer Italian catalogs, because the answer is very good, collectors come for our labels, which are the vast majority of lots”.
“Flaviano Gelardini and Raimondo Romani contacted us shortly after your article - Guido Groppi, head of Finarte’s Wine and Distillates Department, told WineNews - with the idea of joining an Italian wine front in Hong Kong, where the emergency has been overcome. We accepted immediately, doing basically two things. On the one hand, we combined the collection of lots - from private collectors and companies - that Gelardini and Romani will physically auction in Hong Kong, on the other hand Finarte has a very well developed online sales platform, so we proposed to put all the lots on our platform and start collecting bids. We have been online since Friday, May 8th, it was complex to put together the lots of two different auction houses, but we decided to join forces. It will be interesting because the bid is very valid, with lots ranging from Sassicaia and Masseto to verticals of other very particular Montevetrano and Parusso. In all there are more than 750 lots of Italian wines of the highest level, and they will be purchased in Hong Kong dollars, the currency with which the lots will be paid. Another important thing to know is that most of the wines are in Italy, so those who buy from Italy will not incur additional costs. Certainly - concludes the head of the Wine and Spirits Department of Finarte - it will not be an auction like the others: it is a very difficult situation, and this auction represents the Italy of wine, in a compact way, both from the point of view of the offer - articulated and of great level - and for the fact of seeing two great auction houses working shoulder to shoulder, in a particularly hard moment”.

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