- The California 50 is at its highest all-time level.
- Ridge is the standout performer over the last year.
- The Liv-ex California Report is published today.
The California 50 index recently hit 320, its highest ever level, narrowly beating out the previous high of 319 seen back in 2018.
Californian wines have emerged as the strongest group of non-European fine wines in the secondary market.
Despite estates and labels such as Screaming Eagle, Opus One and Harlan having held an incredibly strong cachet in wine circles for decades, their export markets remained limited.
In more recent years the UK in particular has begun to see increased demand for top Californian labels. Trade in US wines (which are predominantly Californian) by value on Liv-ex has risen from 0.1% to 7.1% of the total over the last decade.
Napa Valley wines are the spearhead of this increased activity. California makes up 99% of US trade on the Exchange and Napa Valley wines account for just over 90% of that.
Nonetheless, there is increasing diversification within US/Californian wines seeing secondary market activity.
A clear example of this is the performance of Ridge. The Santa Cruz-based winery’s Monte Bello label is the leading wine in the California 50 index.
It has risen 17.8% over the last year (July 2020 – July 2021), far outpacing the index’s other constituent labels.
It success has been driven by the 2011 and 2013 vintages, which have risen 29% and 38% respectively over the past year.
A full report into the secondary market for Californian wines; their historical performance, the leading brands, best price performers and more, is being published later today on the Liv-ex website.