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Sotheby's Launches Retail Wine Business in Manhattan
This full service store, which has been designed by Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt of St. Louis-based Kuhlmann Leavitt Inc, offers a range of wine at competitive prices from $13.95 to $40,000 per bottle. Sotheby’s Wine is now fully open at 1334 York Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side or at www.sothebyswine.com.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s today launches a retail and online wine business, becoming the only major global auctioneer also offering fine wines at retail and online. The team at Sotheby’s Wine is known for an unsurpassed level of knowledge and expertise and has put together some of the most well known and historic wine auctions around the world. That level of care and expertise that has previously only been available for those wishing to bid at auction can now be used by anyone throwing a party, selecting a gift, putting together a collection or just planning dinner. This full service store, which has been designed by Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt of St. Louis-based Kuhlmann Leavitt Inc, offers a range of wine at competitive prices from $13.95 to $40,000 per bottle. Sotheby’s Wine is now fully open at 1334 York Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side or at Sothebyswine.com


Jamie Ritchie, President and CEO, Sotheby’s Wine, Americas and Asia said: “We have been planning this business for a long time as we often speak to people who would like to buy wine from Sotheby’s but who want more flexibility and immediacy than bidding in our auctions. With the launch of our retail wine business we can now offer a complete service to anyone with an interest in wine. Because of our decades of experience working with wine makers and collectors from around the world, we are uniquely placed to help wine lovers get the most out of one of life’s great pleasures. Our team source and taste constantly, so all our wines are of high quality, typical of their region and offer good value for money. Our selection includes the best producers, but also our favorite wines that may be less well known and which are sometimes exclusive to us in the United States. It’s an exciting time to launch this business, with the combination of our new retail store and website—technology is playing an ever bigger role in how people purchase wine and we are keen to see how user-friendly our new website is in helping them find their favorite wines and make new discoveries.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, International Head of Wine at Sotheby’s said: “It is extremely exciting for Sotheby’s to become a retail wine merchant as we aim to provide for all our clients’ vinous needs. We apply the same criteria for our retail selection as for our auctions – the wines must be the best of their kind and in perfect condition. Our preference is always for wines of real character and personality, in other words, the wines we choose for ourselves. We love hunting for them and, even more, we love drinking them.”

As Sotheby’s wine auctions continue to go from strength to strength, with total sales of $35 million in the first half of 2010 - a 76% increase compared to the same period last year - now is the ideal time to offer this expanded service to wine lovers. Sotheby’s wine auctions are characterized by the rigorous inspection process all bottles must go through before being offered for sale and the same strict standards apply to the new retail business. Wines with this guarantee of authenticity and quality are now available to customers preferring to shop at the retail store or online rather than just at auction. The fully personalized service offers advice on starting a cellar, when to drink your wine or holding a wine tasting or dinner, while the website offers a dynamic search function, allowing customers to browse by producer, region, vintage, varietal and price in any order they like.

Sotheby’s retail wine business is led by Jamie Ritchie (left) who has been at Sotheby’s for over 20 years and launched Sotheby’s wine auctions in New York in 1994 and Hong Kong in 2009. He is joined by Eli Rodriguez who has worked in the wine industry for over 10 years and has been with Sotheby’s for four.





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