In the world of wine, less is more—at least when it comes to handling and transportation. Whether you relish local wines or seek to collect cases from around the world, you want assurance that the journey from the vineyard to your doorstep was as straightforward and uneventful as possible.
Why? If you aim to enjoy the wine at your next dinner party, you’ll want to serve nothing less than the best a bottle has to offer. And if you’d prefer to resell the wine for profit instead, you’ll receive the greatest ROI from a bottle that’s all but guaranteed perfect provenance.
In either case, the best approach may be to buy directly from producers.
How to Buy Wine Direct From Producers
Buying wine direct from producers is simpler than it may sound. You don’t have to travel to the vineyard to acquire your desired bottle or case; some winery-direct wines are sold online and shipped directly from the producer’s cellar. However, in many cases, the wineries themselves don’t sell the wine, and even many of the higher-end producers who do may have long waiting lists that are difficult, sometimes even impossible, to join.
This is where online retailers may come back into the picture. Retailers like Vinfolio cultivate direct winery connections to facilitate the logistics of winery direct purchases and ensure a direct line of provenance. In short, we help you find the wines and the winery direct connections you are looking for—without the long wait.
To ensure the best experience, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind as well:
- Expect to spend a little more. While this isn’t always the case, ex-chateau wines are usually sold at roughly ten percent above market value. However, they also typically resell for a much higher profit.
- En-primeur leftovers maximize your ROI. An exception to the above rule, leftover wines from en-primeur weeks are often sold wholesale to collectors and retailers. In other words, you’ll likely pay less per bottle than normal because the wineries selling them need to make room quickly for new products.
- Shop smart, and start small. Upfront research can help ensure the long-term success of your investment. If you’re new to winery-direct purchases, and especially if you’re new to collecting wine in general, it’s typically best to start with vintages from smaller, lesser-known producers. After that, dive into heftier investments from the likes of First-Growth Bordeaux Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild or Haut-Brion.
If you’re focused on high quality and high resale value, there are several benefits to buying wine direct from producers.
The Benefits of Buying Wine Direct from Producers
The most obvious advantage of winery-direct shipping is that it leaves less room for mishaps. Bypassing the need for distributors means fewer hands, and fewer miles, for your wine to pass through. The more perfectly your wine’s quality can be preserved, the better it will taste—and the more other collectors will be willing to pay you for it on the secondary market.
But there are other benefits to buying ex-chateau:
- Ascertaining authenticity. Especially in light of the wine frauds of recent years, authenticity is everything when it comes to investing. Purchasing your wine directly from producers helps ensure you get exactly what you pay for.
- Limited risk of low-quality purchases. Unlike futures, which can be uncertain, the quality of ex-chateau wines is a foregone conclusion. You can easily look up tasting notes and ratings to determine if any given wine is worth buying direct before you make your purchase.
- Exclusive opportunities. Some wineries make a point of offering certain special bottlings to online buyers only through winery-direct programs. Certain retailers, like Vinfolio, are also able to source library releases, which offer well-aged bottles with perfect provenance. (Library releases are wines held back during their initial release for rerelease years later, when they are more mature.)
- Minimal cellaring. Most ex-chateau wines are sold at, or close to, peak maturity, so they will be ready to drink much sooner than futures and other younger vintages. This not only requires less patience, but also saves money on storage expenses.
In short, you can make winery-direct purchases with confidence and reap the benefits of your investments sooner.
Ensuring Provenance with Winery-Direct Purchases
Buying wine direct from producers is one of the best methods for ensuring perfect provenance. To further protect your investment, however, be sure to:
- Ship under bond. Shipping under bond ensures that your wine will receive the utmost care and consideration on its journey. This will also allow you to avoid paying a duty tax if you plan to resell.
- Utilize professional storage solutions. A bonded warehouse or professional storage service can provide the safest environment for storing your wine, should it need a little more time in the cellar.
- Buy through a trusted service or retailer. While more and more retailers are offering winery-direct programs, not all of them are created equal. Be sure to take a good look at who you’re buying through—not just who you’re buying from. Vinfolio, for example, ensures provenance by conducting thorough inspections before the sale of every bottle.
Ultimately, your best option will be to seek out a retailer that offers both winery-direct shipping and professional storage solutions. This way, your wine can travel straight from the producer’s cellar to your own. This not only protects your wine’s quality but also increases its resell profitability, as you can prove that your wine has always benefitted from professional care.
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.