Californian Wine Investment Returns

Californian wine investment returns

The California 50 index has outperformed the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 over the past year, providing better returns than Bordeaux and Italy.  The Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index, the broadest measure of the market, rose 24.7% over the past year (March 2021 to March 2022).

Among its sub-indices, the Champagne 50 (51.2%) and Burgundy 150 (43.8%) are the clear front-runners over the last few years, but the Italy 100 is also rising steadily. The chart below show’s the performance of the Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices and the California 50 over three years – of which the latter has also seen strong returns.


californian wine




California 50 outperforms the broader market


The California 50 index rose 32.2% between March 2021 and March 2022. By the end of the first quarter of 2022, it hit 398 its highest ever level, beating the previous high of 319 seen back in 2018.  Prices for the region’s wines continue to soar, driven by good ratings. Meanwhile, the Dominus 2019 vintage launch stimulated demand for back vintages and there are currently 119 LIVE opportunities for Dominus.

Screaming Eagle leads trade


In more recent years the UK in particular has seen increased demand for top Californian labels. Trade for US wines (which are predominantly Californian) on Liv-ex has risen from 0.1% to 7.5% of the total over the last decade (as a percentage of total trade by value).
An example of this increased demand is reflected by the performance of Screaming Eagle. The Oakville-based winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the leading wine in the California 50 index. Furthermore, the 2018 vintage Sauvignon Blanc was the third most valuable white wine in the first quarter of 2022. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon has risen 42.1% over the last year (Mar 2021 – Mar 2022), far outpacing the index’s other constituent labels.  The label’s success has been driven by the 2009 and 2010 vintages, which have risen 61.2% and 75.0% respectively over the past year.



liv ex wine



Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 575+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.


Source: By Liv-ex May 4, 2022


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