Most wines travel hundreds, or thousands, of miles and pass through many doors before they complete their journey with the pop of a cork. Typically, once the vinification process is complete, a wine is shipped in bulk from producers to distributors, who then ship it off once again to retail stores. It is this process that allows enthusiasts to sample wines from all over the world, rather than only having access to those produced locally.
This process factors into the price and—more importantly—the provenance of these wines. The farther it travels, and the more complex the journey, the greater the increase in cost and the higher the chances of a mishap. Winery direct shipping offers a faster, safer alternative that limits the extent to which these wines are handled and the risk of damage occurring during transportation.
What is Winery Direct?
When you see a retailer offering “winery direct” wines, it means the wines were shipped directly from the producer—without first going through a broker or distributor. This lowers the transport cost, which, in turn, allows retailers to price the wines lower.
Why don’t all wineries offer “winery direct” wines? Why don’t retailers demand more of these deals? The answer lies in production quantity. A vintner that produces great quantities of wine each year is better served by relying on distributors to handle the shipping logistics required to reach their customer base of national, or even international, retailers. Wineries with a smaller output, on the other hand, can more easily handle distribution themselves, as they will have less wine to distribute—and fewer retailers to whom they need to ship their wines.
In other words, not all wineries can—or should—utilize winery direct shipping to bring their products to the world. But for those that can, doing so allows them to cut costs for buyers without sacrificing the quality of the wines.
The Advantages of Shipping Wine Directly From the Vineyard
Lower price tags are equally appealing to connoisseurs who plan to enjoy the wines they buy (and are happy to spend less to buy them) and collectors who are keen on maximizing the resale value of their investments. Winery direct wines also provide opportunities for enthusiasts to experiment with new varieties or labels cost-effectively.
Wines that are shipped directly from the vineyard travel fewer miles and experience smoother transfer, which helps preserve perfect provenance.
However, lower prices are not the only virtues of these wines. As is the case with ex-chateau wines, wines that are shipped directly from the vineyard travel fewer miles and experience smoother transfer, which helps preserve perfect provenance.
Purchasing Winery Direct Wines
Highly sought-after ex-chateau wines—including those from renowned producers like Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, and Haut-Brion—are kept in pristine condition in producers’ cellars until they are perfectly aged and ready to drink. This makes them ideal candidates for direct shipping.
Producers may also ship young wines expected to do well directly to retailers for en primeur tasting events and sales. 2017, 2018, and 2019 Bordeaux futures, for example, offer excellent opportunities for investing early in high-quality, age-worthy wines.
Savvy retailers who have built strong direct relationships with vintners are more likely to offer good deals on excellent wines as well. Vinfolio, for instance, has cultivated strong ties with both local producers such as Realm, Sloan, and Hundred Acre, as well as those located a bit farther from home, such as Clarendon Hills in the legendary McLaren Vale region of Australia.
In addition to seeking out winery direct sales, buying wine by the case can further lower the purchase price of almost any investment (as the cost per bottle is typically lower than the cost of individual bottles) and will often offer the largest profit margin should you choose to resell. Or, if you plan to enjoy your wines yourself, keeping them organized by the case allows you to sample different bottles in different years to experience the subtle tasting differences as they age.
And, of course, no matter where your wine comes from—or whether you buy it by the case or the bottle—you’ll want to protect your investment until it’s ready to drink or sell. Whether it needs a couple of years or a couple of decades to mature, seeking a professional storage solution will allow you to rest easy knowing your wine will be kept in perfect condition for as long as you need to wait.
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.