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Beaune, France (AFP) Nov 17, 2013
A Chinese woman won the bidding for a coveted barrel of Burgundy wine at a Christie's-run charity auction in France on Sunday, paying 131,000 euros ($177,000) for her cask.
It was the first time a Chinese buyer came away with the top item at the annual auction for the Hospices de Beaune charity, where around 443 wines went under the hammer.
Yan Hong Cao, the successful young bidder who won the 456 litres of Meursault-Genevrieres, is from Yunan in southeastern China and owns a chain of shops, jade mines and tea plantations.
Michael Ganne, a representative from Christie's, which has run the auction since 2005, said a significant number of Asians had attended the event and that it generated "a lot of interest, with a small volume of vintage" available.
The proceeds from the auction will be distributed among various charities.
France is a major exporter of wine to China, which has become a key, fast-growing market.
Wine consumption in the world's most populous country more than doubled in the four years to 2011, and is set to rise another 40 percent by 2016, according to Vinexpo, the industry's top trade-fair organiser.
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