Investment-grade wines can come from regions all over the world, but those that can be deemed ‘fine wine’ are subject to strict controls. Regulations vary from country to country, but are generally enshrined in law, with some classifications dating back more than 100 years.

It’s no surprise; given its illustrious winemaking history
that France is home to the largest proportion of investment grade wines. The adjacent graphic demonstrates the current geographical split of investment grade wines by region.

A Bordeaux wine is a wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. It has a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. The Bordeaux region in the fine wine investment market is notoriously known for producing the best wines in the world. Wine has been traded in the region for hundreds of years and to this day still produces the very best investable grade wines that continue to dominate auctions with their well respected house names. The notorious “First Growth” wines all originate from the Bordeaux region (Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Latour & Haut Brion) and is the main focus for investment for all of our clients. Although the first growth wines are usually the most expensive, they have historically always been the best performers on the market. By building a portfolio of first growth wines, we are sticking to a trend that has consistently performed over the past 50 years.
Burgundy or Bourgogne is one of Frances most famous wine regions, located south east of Paris and is renowned for producing some of the world’s most expensive wines including the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC). DRC is unquestionably the most important wine brand in the world. Collectors around the world vie and compete aggressively for the approximately 8,000 cases total of its eight extraordinary vineyard bottlings that are released and sold globally. The wines of DRC are invariably the crown jewels in any wine collection. They have an uninterrupted track record of appreciating in value due to the confluence of increasing global wealth, tiny quantities made and superb quality year after year. In fact, in 2019 alone, the wines of DRC went up 30% in value collectively. Burgundy, alongside Bordeaux, is one of Frances two classic, best-known wine-producing regions. In 2018, one bottle of DRC sold at Sotheby’s for $558,000. With only 400 cases produced by the Romanee-Conti estate per year, the demand for this luxurious brand of wine always outweighs the supply.

The most famous sparkling wine region in the world contains some of the most renowned wine producers. The region that surrounds the towns of Reims and Epernay to the east of Paris produces the most famous sparkling wine of them all champagne. Only three grape varieties can be used here, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and producers both large and small apply them in varying proportions to impose their own house style. Whilst champagne is regarded as the ‘King’ many other regions are making a name for themselves by producing top quality investable sparkling wines – Italy, New Zealand, USA and England are amongst the most noteworthy examples. Louis Roederer, Cristal, Dom Perignon, Krug, Bollinger and Taittinger are all brands that carry worldwide recognition. Still seen as the ultimate luxury commodity, Champagne provides investors with a great opportunity to take advantage of the blossoming Asian market for sparkling wine.

The Rhone Valley is a large, viticulturally region that is continually growing in popularity. It is the second biggest fine wine region in France and only Bordeaux has more vineyards across one region. There are more than 71,000 hectors of Vines planted in the Rhone Valley today.  There are 27 unique grape varieties allowed for producing in their own Valley, with more than 5,000 different producers actively involved in producing wine. Wines from the Côtes du Rhône region are largely produced with the Grenache grape. At the highest level there are 15 Crus that are labelled according to their village names, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Crozes-Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. In recent years single vineyard wines have become popular (thanks to the efforts of Marcel Guigal), with the most lucrative being La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque.).

California’s wine growing regions produces unique and diverse wines, with different flavours and characteristics being derived from the soil, climate and the winemakers that create them. Ranging from abundant sunshine to cool coastal air, plus a variety of soils and terrain, each region lends its own personal touch to the varietals grown there. A Chardonnay grown in the Central Valley can seem like an entirely differently grape when compared to a Chardonnay produced from Monterey grapes. This diversity means that within the state, there is a wine for every palate. In 1976 the Napa Valley received a boost in worldwide recognition when a couple of its wines outperformed several famous French labels. With over 450 wineries in Napa, the Californian wine region is now one of the most popular wine tourism areas in the world.

With an annual production of only 400-750 cases, Screaming Eagle is the top name in American wine. The 1992 vintage was awarded a Parker score of 99 points and can sell for over £5,000 a bottle. Opus One – another Californian winery – was established in 1982 by two of the wine industry’s giants: Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi. Their aim was simple; to create a Bordeaux-style wine with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. With Rothschild’s name on the label, this wine helped to put Napa on the map, and Opus One, together with Screaming Eagle, lead the way in terms of quality American wine.

With nearly a quarter of world wine production coming from Italy, it is the only country in the world that produces as much fine wine as France. With the most renound being the ‘Super Tuscans’ which are gradually making their way in t the list of top wine investments. The UK, Germany and the USA are the leading importers of Italian wine. With over 4000 years of wine production behind them, Italian vineyards produce some incredible wines.

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