Part of the wine collection of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been sold for more than £2.2 million at auction.
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.
Further sales will take place in London on June 5 and online from June 9 to 23 and are expected to raise a total of more than £3 million, Christie’s said before the first sale raised well over half that.
A total of 257 lots were offered and 229 lots were sold, the auction house said. It was not able to confirm the number of bottles sold.
The collection on sale today featured many fine and rare wines including six bottles of Romanee-Conti Grand Cru of 1999 vintage, the year Sir Alex won the Champions League with Manchester United.
This lot was expected to be sold with a team shirt signed by the former manager.
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 at Christie’s, said: “While Sir Alex Ferguson’s reputation and standing in football is renowned the world over, we are thrilled at Christie’s to be able to showcase his exceptional taste in fine wine.
“This collection includes a roll-call of impressive wines, including one of the most comprehensive groups of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti that we have ever offered at auction.
“It is remarkable to see that Sir Alex’s talent of picking quality players for the pitch also extends to picking sensational wines for the cellar.”