Fine wine markets are well positioned for growth in the coming months thanks to strong demand in Asia, according to the Telegraph.

The UK broadsheet says that this could partly be due to a change in the tax system in Hong Kong and Mau, which has reduced the duty due on wine in the region.

Leading auctioneers Sotheby's has seen many of its fine wine sales recently sell out at 97, 98 and even 100%.

Serena Sutcliffe, head of the international wine department at Sotheby's, agrees that demand for wine is being driven by Asian buyers.

The news is likely to attract shrewd investors, both old and new.

Andrew della Casa, a director at the Wine Investment Fund, told the Telegraph: "Now looks like the right time to be stocking up on investment grade fine wine.

"April saw the most positive set of indicators in the wine market for over a year.

"Looking at retail sales, Asia and particularly China remain a source of strong demand... reflected both in sales through merchants and high prices being paid at auctions in the Far East," he said.

According to the Liv-ex 100 Index - the industry benchmark index produced by Liv-ex - the fine wine exchange rose by 2.8%, its largest increase since June 2007.

There are many new buyers of fine wines, said Ms Sutcliffe - but it is important that investors understand what is involved in buying rare wines.

"We have to emphasise that storage is very important," she told the Telegraph. "We have to tell people that if they do not have good storage, then they must use professional storage."

"Provenance of the wine and traceability is also very important. You must not just pick the wine up anywhere."

But experts also emphasise that, as a buyer, you don't necessarily have to hold the wine yourself. You can invest in a wine fund as an addition to your portfolio.

Fine wine is increasingly being used as a means of diversifying the assets of high net worth investors, due to its independent performance as an asset class.

For instance, the purpose of the Wine Investment Fund is to generate "double digit" annualised returns by mainly investing in Bordeaux.

The Fund takes care of the storage responsibilities: it holds a physical stock of wine in a UK Government bonded warehouse.

Mr della Casa believes that the market is hardening and said that it "feels well placed for growth over the next few months."

With Asia establishing itself as the new big fine wine market, now could be the ideal time for old and new collectors and investors to get involved.



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