Sour Grapes contributor sells wine collection for $21.9m

The documentary Sour Grapes is an unbelievable true story. In 2006, Rudy Kurniawan sold wine from his personal cellar in two auctions, making a fortune of 35 million dollars. Kurniawan was considered a wine erudite until billionaire collector (Bill Koch) and a French wine producer (Laurent Ponsont) began an investigation that found it was the biggest wine fraud. Kurniawan had been falsely labeling wine bottles in his home and then selling them as a collectible.

Now the US collector Bill Koch, who became a popular figure among collectors for his campaign against wine fraud, has sold a large quantity of his wine collection in a Sothebys New York auction. The auction was estimated to make around $15 million but the auction closed at $21.9 million. Jamie Ritchie, CEO and president of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia and Americas, said this sale established a new benchmark for wine auctions, “Buyers from all corners of the world used every available bidding method to buy every single one of 20,000 bottles offered in a three-day sale that lasted 27 hours”

Bill Koch and his wine collection feature heavily in the film, Sour Grapes (pictured above in a still from the film). The film is directed by Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas, and had its World Premiere at HotDocs 2016. Next up the film will have its international premiere at the UK based Sheffield Doc/Fest.