Provenance

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

provenance, details of a wine’s previous owner(s) and, ideally, storage conditions, has become increasingly important in the fine wine market. Gone are the days when ‘Property of an English Gentleman’ would suffice as an auction catalogue description, effectively implying that the source of the wine in question was beyond reproach. A number of factors have combined to bring provenance centre stage in the buyer’s increasing need for a copper-bottomed guarantee of origin.

The growth of the asian market has seen a new kind of collector, both more knowledgeable and more wary than many, and keen to ensure as impeccable a source of origin and storage for his or her wines as possible. At the same time, the huge increase in wine prices in recent years has generated a parasitic underbelly of counterfeiters, fraudsters, forgers, and confidence tricksters keen to cash in on the bounty that a bottle of expensive fine wine (often bought, much less often opened) can bring. Budd tries to expose those he encounters from his UK base.