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Lafite Thirst, Battling Billionaires Push Wine Auctions Up 88%

Sales at the world’s three biggest wine auctioneers increased by 88 percent in 2010 as wealthy Asian buyers dominated the market for prestige French vintages such as Lafite.

The total sales were a record $252.1 million, according to Bloomberg calculations. The company that sold the most wine, $94.9 million, was specialist Acker Merrall & Condit, which may add as much as $5 million at the final New York auction on Dec. 18. Sotheby’s global wine auctions made a record $89.3 million.