More than 5,000 bottles of classic wine are going under the hammer in Sotheby's first wine sale in Hong Kong. The 750 lots, which will be auctioned on Saturday to launch the company's Hong Kong Spring Sales 2009 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, are expected to fetch more than HK$20million. The wines are part of an American collector's cellar of more than 90,000 bottles. A smaller part of the collection was sold in New York on March 14. The entire collection is likely to bring more than HK$35million. Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby's international wine department, said: 'Hong Kong is a very wine-conscious city and we wished to start our new era of auctions in Asia's wine capital with a collection that does honour to Asia's wine lovers. 'The superlative quality of these wines is backed up by Sotheby's wine department's experience and expertise. We are very excited that this emblematic collection can now be offered to such an audience. We hope that these wines can be drunk and shared between connoisseurs throughout Asia.' At the heart of the cellar is a remarkable collection of wines from Domaine de la Roman?e-Conti in Burgundy, France. About 100 of the 1,500 bottles are in large formats, including about 50 Methuselahs, so the total volume is equivalent to 2,000 regular 75cl bottles or 15,000 glasses. The collection includes vintages from all seven vineyards in Domaine de la Roman?e-Conti: Ech?zeaux, Grands Ech?zeaux, Richebourg, Roman?e St Vivant, Roman?e-Conti, Montrachet and La T?che. The greatest wines from Bordeaux include the top ch?teaux on both sides of the Gironde. 'First growths' make up a large proportion of this offering, with vintages of Mouton Rothschild, Margaux and Lafite. 'Right Bank' wines include vintages of P?trus, Le Pin and Lafleur. There is also the spectacular d'Yquem, champagne from Krug and Dom P?rignon, Rh?ne wines from P?gau and Beaucastel, a wonderful selection of Sassicaia and more than 150 bottles of Vega Sicilia Unico from four superb vintages. Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby's Asia, said the company's wine auctions in New York and London had been enthusiastically supported by Asian collectors for a long time. 'Asian wine collectors have clearly emerged as a significant force injecting great energy into the global fine wine market,' she said. 'Bringing this important wine collection to auction in Hong Kong will provide an ideal platform and direct access for our Asian clients to acquire the superb wine offerings with distinguished provenance that only Sotheby's can offer. This initiative also testifies to Sotheby's continual commitment to expand the horizon of collecting categories available to our clients in Asia.' Sotheby's wine department achieved its third-highest sales total of US$44million last year. The auctioneer has sold wine in London since 1970. The launch of auctions in New York in 1994 has resulted in sales of US$243million in the United States. Sotheby's established the world record for a bottle of wine sold at auction when a Ch?teau Mouton Rothschild 1945 jeroboam fetched US$310,700 in New York on February 28, 2007.