Ferguson wine auctioned for £2.2m

Part of the wine collection of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been sold for more than £2.2 million at auction.

Sir Alex Ferguson is known for his good taste in wine
Sir Alex Ferguson is known for his good taste in wine

The wines were offered at a sale in Hong Kong in the first of three auctions and fetched a sale total of £2,269,065.

A total of 257 lots were offered and 229 lots were sold, Christie's said. The auction house was not able to confirm the total number of bottles sold.

The top lot was one Methuselah - equivalent to eight bottles - of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vintage 1997 which realised £94,815. This lot included a card signed "Best Wishes Alex Ferguson".

The top ten lots were bought by private Asian buyers, Christie's said.

The second lot in the top ten consisted of six bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee Conti Vintage 1999 - the year Sir Alex won the Champions League with Manchester United - which went for £85,334.

This lot included a Manchester United Retro Champions League shirt from 1999 signed "Best Wishes Alex Ferguson".

Further sales will take place in London on June 5 and online from June 9 to 23.

Before today's sale they were expected to raise a total of more than £3 million - but that was before the first sale raised well over half that.

Sir Alex is known for his good taste in wine. When he was in charge at Old Trafford he was said to enjoy a post-match glass with even the fiercest of rivals.

He said: ''I am pleased to be working with Christie's to share one of my life's pleasures. My interest in wine began during a scouting trip in France and, over time, my enjoyment of discovery and collecting grew.

''The importance of collecting wine was that it served as a distraction and gave me a balance in my life that helped me in dealing with the intensity and demands required of me as the manager of Manchester United.

''In retirement, I now have the time to visit the places and people that will feed my passion, so I felt it made sense to release a large number of the wines I had collected over the years. I hope many will enjoy exploring my collection.''

David Elswood, head of wine, Christie's, said: "A very strong combination of bidding from both wine lovers and fans of Sir Alex Ferguson CBE has resulted in an excellent sale total for today's auction, particularly for the wines of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.

"Chinese buyers continued to dominate in this sale and showed great enthusiasm, especially for the rarest wines of Burgundy, combined with some unique signed memorabilia from Sir Alex."

All sold prices include buyer's premium.