Allegrini 2018

Intesa Sanpaolo PB survey: in Italy 6 collectors out of 100 choose to invest in fine wines

The international wine auction market is worth almost half a billion euros, and wine pulls more than vintage cars and motorcycles
A magnum of the legendary Sassicaia 1985 among Pandolfini’s top lots at auction

The world wine auction market moves almost half a billion euros every year. An important figure, which becomes a little smaller when compared to the numbers of art, jewelry or vintage car collectors. The sales of the major auction houses, from Sotheby’s to Christie’s, from Zachys to Acker Merrall & Condid, passing through the Italian Gelardini & Romani, Pandolfini, Wannenes, Bolaffi and Finarte, are constantly growing, and if until a few years ago the two main squares were those of London and New York, today also Hong Kong has an important specific weight. From record to record, prices are growing, as is the space occupied by Italian wine brands. What a challenge now openly challenges the overwhelming power of Burgundy and Bordeaux, which is contrasted by the champions of Barolo, Brunello and Bolgheri, with labels such as Monfortino by Giacomo Conterno, the great wines of Gaja and Giacosa, Brunello di Montalcino by Biondi Santi and Case Basse (Soldera), Tignanello and Solaia by Marchesi Antinori, Sassicaia by Tenuta San Guido and Masseto, all labels increasingly the object of desire of collectors around the world. Even Italian ones: as emerges from a survey promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo PB together with the gallery owners of Miart, 6 collectors out of 100 choose to invest in wine. Which is placed just behind jewelry and watches, and in front of vintage cars and motorcycles.

Focus - The portrait of the Italian collector
As recounted in the book “Collectors and the value of art in Italy”, currently being published, and the result of the Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking survey, collectors have an average age of just over 58 years, men prevail over women (3 to 1); they reside for the most part (almost 70%) in the richest regions of the country (Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia), only 11% in the Centre, 7% in the South and 4% abroad. Italian collectors have a higher level of education (degree), often they are entrepreneurs, freelancers, or business executives. They have not very large collections: on average 155 works, over 40% own less than 50 and 60% less than 100, with a clear preference for contemporary art (94%), associated with post-war (46%) or modern (21%) works. Then there are the exceptions: in 11 cases and collections exceed 500, in 3 cases 1,000. Italian collectors are closed to the question of how much their collection is worth (55%). At an aggregate level, 55% of the sample has been collecting for more than ten years and in a systematic manner. They collect following a theme, a movement or trends: they privilege Abstraction (29%), then Minimalism (22%), Arte Povera (21%) and Informal Art (20%).

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