As an avid fan of Shiraz, I’ve amassed a number of bottles of Penfolds Grange Hermitage over the years. However, I recently noticed that my collection was becoming unorganized; I had more than a dozen Penfolds bottles sitting in storage, and some of these were fast approaching their peak. I knew that if I didn’t sell some of these bottles soon, I could miss my window for getting the highest returns on them.
Knowing when and how to sell Penfolds Grange wine isn’t easy since these wines can age for decades, making it hard to pinpoint exactly when to put them on the market. Appraisers and online auction experts can offer a clear, objective opinion on the best time to sell each of your bottles, allowing you to get the best possible return on investment. But whether you hire an appraiser or not, before you sell you’ll need to determine your wine’s vintage, provenance, and secondary market value in order to sell it for exactly what it’s worth.
Options for Selling Your Penfolds Wine
You have three main options when you choose to sell your Penfolds collection: You can appraise your wine yourself, hire a professional wine appraiser, or use a full-service marketplace that includes wine appraisal services. Using a full-service option is a good choice for most Penfolds collectors because it generally offers the highest return on investment and saves time and effort, but each collector should consider their own needs and preferences.
Option 1: Appraising and Selling Your Wine Yourself
This option requires the most from you. You not only have to do your own research into how to sell Penfolds Grange wine, but you also have to inspect your bottles, ensure the wine is being stored properly, and handle all of the marketing and shipping details yourself. While you won’t have to pay a fee to a website or auction house, you may incur additional advertising and shipping costs.
Option 2: Hiring a Professional Appraiser and Selling Your Wine Yourself
Hiring a professional appraiser takes less time and effort than selling the wine yourself, however, there are still a few downsides when you choose this option. The cost of hiring a third party appraiser could cut into your sales profits and the appraiser can’t help you sell your wine to buyers. The appraiser simply makes it easier to authenticate your bottles and decide on a fair asking price.
Option 3: Using a Full-Service Marketplace to Sell and Appraise Your Wine
Trustworthy online wine marketplaces have wine experts on staff who analyze bottles for vintage quality, provenance, and value. A high-quality full-service sales website may offer:
- A detailed, clear pricing consultation for every bottle.
- Free insurance coverage until your bottles are sold.
- Safe transportation and storage while you wait for buyers to bid on your wine.
- A wide audience of buyers who are interested in fine wine.
- Marketing experts who specifically cater to Penfolds Grange buyers.
- Shipping experts who handle all of the fulfillment details.
The one potential downside to selling your wine online through a site that offers appraisals is that you usually have to pay a small fee to the website for hosting your wine on the online marketplace. While the fee may cut into your profits slightly, it’s usually well worth the price because you won’t have to learn how to sell your Penfolds by yourself. Details like the price, shipping, and storage are handled for you by experts, potentially saving you hours of work.
Look to the Vintage for Guidance
Before you hire a professional to analyze the value of your Penfolds Grange collection, consider which vintages in your collection might be worth selling and which ones you don’t need to show to an appraiser. For example, the drinking window for 2006 Penfolds Grange began in 2016, and an appraiser can give you detailed advice on whether this vintage is worth storing for a longer period of time or selling right now. On the other hand, a newer vintage like the 2013 probably won’t be ready to drink until at least 2020, so you should keep this bottle in storage for a few years before you consider selling–at least until the wine is ready to drink.
If you choose to sell your Penfolds Grange collection on your own, then the vintage of your wines can also offer you important insight into the value of your collection, and you can prioritize selling your highest-quality bottles. One of the greatest mistakes that collectors make when they sell a Penfolds Grange collection is to ask for the same price for every bottle, regardless of vintage quality. Some vintages, like the 2010, are exceptionally high in quality so these vintages can sell for a higher price than others.
Here are some of the highest-quality Penfolds Grange vintages of the past 20 years:
If you own any of the vintages above, then you can easily ask for $600 or more per bottle. To determine an exact price, research the current average sales price for that particular vintage on the secondary market. Meanwhile, if you own Penfolds Grange wines that aren’t on that list, you can still sell most of these for at least $350. Most Penfolds Grange wines of average quality sell for $400 to $500, so this is often a good starting point for your bottles. Keep in mind that these general pricing guidelines apply to more recent Penfolds vintages; if you own certain older vintages, especially those bottled in the 1950s and 1960s, your wine could be worth more than $1,000 per bottle, as these older vintages are quite rare. The most valuable Penfolds Grange vintage in history is the 1951 Bin 1 Grange Hermitage, which can sell for $38,000 to $60,000.
Analyze the Quality of Your Bottle and Storage Conditions
Once you’ve set a fair price for your wines based on the average sales price for the vintage, you’ll also need to take an honest look at the quality and provenance of your Penfolds Grange collection. Just because your bottle of 2009 Penfolds Grange is worth $650 on average doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to sell your own bottle at this price point. If you can’t prove that your wine is authentic or you’re unsure how the wine was stored before you purchased it, then getting the full asking price is unlikely. You have two options for analyzing the overall quality of your wine:
Have Your Wine Professionally Inspected
Just as they can help you decide if your wine is ready to sell, a wine appraiser can also help you analyze the overall quality of the wines in your collection by asking you specific questions about their provenance. Your wine appraiser will ask:
- Where did you buy the bottle?
- Do you have a receipt or proof of purchase?
- Can you draw the line of provenance back to the Penfolds estate?
- How was your wine stored over the years?
In addition to these questions, your appraiser will inspect your bottle’s label, ullage, cork and capsule condition, color, and authenticity. The most valuable Penfolds Grange bottles are those purchased directly from the estate with proof of purchase and stored professionally for the bottle’s entire lifespan. If this applies to your collection, then your Grange wine will command the highest possible price.
Inspect Your Own Collection
You can also inspect your bottles yourself, though this isn’t always the most profitable option. Your buyers will trust the opinion of an objective wine expert and may pay a higher price for professionally-inspected bottles. For this reason, if you want to sell Penfolds Grange wine yourself, you’ll need to offer your buyers additional proof of authenticity. You should include photographs of your bottles from every angle, including close-ups of the label, cork, and capsule, as well as the ullage. You may also have to provide potential buyers with a receipt of purchase or show them the environmental conditions of your home cellar. This process is more time-consuming than hiring an appraiser, which is why most serious collectors hire a professional to handle the details for them.
How to Sell Penfolds Grange Wine
Penfolds makes some of the most valuable and decadent Shiraz blends in the world, which means that there’s high demand for these wines on the secondary market. However, despite the popularity of Penfolds among wine enthusiasts, evaluating your wines’ worth and timing your sale for the highest return can be a puzzle. Selling your Penfolds Grange wine through a trustworthy, full-service online marketplace ensures that appraisers will support you through every step of the process so that you maximize your time and your profits.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.