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Army bunker hosts Hong Kong wine auction

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first fine wine auction in Hong Kong for the last decade will take place in an underground army bunker.

Bonhams is holding its inaugural Hong Kong wine auction at Crown Wine Cellar, a concrete vault utilised by the British army in 1941 to store explosives following the Japanese invasion.

Some 180 bidders are expected to attend the auction on April 24 with 246 lots on sale.

Attendees will have the chance to bid for a 1982 Lafite, a 1986 La Tache and a rare magnum of 1992 Screaming Eagle.

Frank Martell, Bonhams' international director of fine and rare wines, said Hong Kong has established itself as a leader in the global fine wine trade in recent years.

He added: "The proposed exemption of wine from duty with immediate effect has opened up a new dimension in the trade, investment and enjoyment of wine as a culture.

"The thirst for top-level wines of the world is growing at an exponential rate."

In February this year, financial secretary John Tsang announced that wine, beer and all other alcoholic drinks bar spirits are now exempt from Hong Kong duty rates.