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The Importance of Fine Wine Storage - by Scott Butterfield

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

A few years ago, during a visit to Ducru Beaucalliou, after a walk through the vineyards and a tour of the cellar room, our group sat down for an intimate lunch at the kitchen table of this iconic chateau. Lamb shanks, local cep mushrooms and cheeses were a major highlight, but the star of the show was unquestionably a bottle of 1982 Grand Vin, brought directly from the cellars of the estate. Even though our group had visited some heavy hitters that trip (including Petrus, Ausone, and Lafite), this wine was no doubt a stand-out. We were all stunned and amazed at the impossible freshness, vivacity, and flavor of this 37 year-old wine. The realization of impeccable storage the wine must’ve undergone really hit home.

Fine wine has long been seen as one of the best investments one can make. It can be an incredibly safe-haven for one’s assets during times of recession and inflation. There are consistently high annual returns and low volatility. It’s been a cornerstone for wealth generation and preservation. This is especially true at this moment. According to the fine wine index called Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000, investment grade vino managed to battle through the recession of 2008, and even increase its value. It’s no secret that investment grade fine wine improves with age, and when combined with an ever-decreasing supply, this ensures that the resale price will increase over time. Numbers don’t lie: over the past 15 years, blue chip wine has delivered 13.6% annual returns, and has also outperformed S&P 500 by 1000% over the past two decades.

Fine wine investors know all too well that storing these bottles is of paramount importance. For example, if a six-pack of DRC somehow loses the “cercle”, or hard plastic strip that fits around the wooden box, the resale value drops significantly. If one is purchasing current vintage wines from Bordeaux or Burgundy, it may take 10-15 years from them to mature, but each year, they grow in value. Therefore, it is critical to store these wines correctly over a long period of time.

With several Vine Vault team members being fine wine collectors, we know exactly how much this matters. When your wine enters our warehouse, our dedicated team will ensure that your bottles remain at the correct temperature and humidity. The corks won’t dry out. The bottles won’t sweat. The labels won’t wrinkle or be torn. There is also 24-7 CCTV cameras and security to ensure that it stays safe. Every time you add wine to your portfolio, one of our on-site Sommeliers will update your collection to reflect your current bottles, and the same goes for when you take one away. Investment grade wine has a multi-year drinking and selling window. With Vine Vault, you can be sure it will be ready whenever you want to remove it from your collection, whether it’s grand cru Burgundy from Vosne-Romanee, a first growth from Bordeaux, or rare vintage Champagne.

Vine Vault’s team of Sommeliers can also provide a detailed inventory and appraisal of your collection, so you know exactly what you have and how much it’s worth. We check public and private markets worldwide to determine an accurate estimate of each bottle’s value. Integrity of the cork and capsule, level of fill, condition of label, every detail is relevant to us. We also know how important it is to ship these wines in the best possible way. Our completely refrigerated delivery process ensures that your wines won’t be above 55-58 degrees the entire way, even to the desert in summer months. So if you’d like to open a special bottle on a special day, or consign your collection to an auction house, Vine Vault is here for you every step of the way.

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