A Christie's-run annual Burgundy wine auction, hosted by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has reported a 54% price increase on individual bottles sold compared with last year, taking the average price per bottle up to €380 ($487) - a much higher figure than previously predicted.
The annual event, which takes place at the historic Hospices de Beaune in Paris, also saw Bruni auction off the most desirable barrel for €270,000 ($350,000) on November 18.
Proceeds from the barrel, containing 350 litres of Corton Grand Cru (Cuvee Charlotte Dumay), will go to her charitable foundation for underprivileged children.
She is reported to have said: "At €200,000 Euros, I'll deliver the wine. At €250,000 my husband will deliver it with me," before the barrel was finally sold to the Ukrainian businessman Igor Iankovsky.
The auction's price rise has been attributed to increased interest from overseas buyers, particularly those based in the Far East, with China recently being named France's fourth largest wine export market after Japan, Great Britain and the United States.
"After having made the market price of certain Bordeaux explode in an irrational manner, they're now locally interested in Burgundy and its niche wines," Laurent Gotti, a wine expert, told Le Parisien. "They are prepared to fork out incredible sums."
Paul Vallin, a wine connoisseur, acknowledges the cultural differences and told the Telegraph newspaper: "For them, wine is also a business."
The reduction in wines on offer is thought to be a direct consequence of poor weather conditions and an increase in diseases attacking the vines in the region.
For more wine news sign up to our free weekly newsletter.