Wine Investment: Ultimately Knowledge is the Key

The wine industry is such a broad and diverse beast, and many of our clients have very extensive and varied requirements.  Some readers are interested in new releases, others are looking for something interesting and to minimise the risk of purchasing an ‘unknown’ wine.  Some clients engage us to assist with developing their Australian wine lists or cellars for the own enjoyment.  Some clients also engage in wine investment, of both Australian wines and international wines.  One of the main channels and sources of information I have used for many years has been Langtons. Not only the ‘Langtons Classification of Australian Wine’ but also their market place for fine wine.

Wine investment, as with all forms of investment, expose you to many risks; market risks, currency risks, and producer risks.  Let alone the daily fluctuations of prices.  Any form of investment requires an understanding of these risks but ultimately knowledge is the key.

Good knowledge of the product, knowledge of the market, buying at the right price and also access to the product.  Many investment wines are sourced from a single vineyard and therefore in limited production, or they are in such demand that they sell out upon release.  Accessing these wines means you need to purchase as soon as they are available to ensure your allocation.

Wine investment

Some regions (especially Bordeaux and Burgundy) also sell their wines prior to release using the ‘en primeur’ approach. This offers the consumers the opportunity to invest before the wine is bottled and released.  Payment is made prior to the official release of a vintage. An advantage of buying wines ‘en primeur’ is that the wines may be cheaper during the ‘en primeur’ period than when they are released to the market.

The key to successfully investing in wines is to ensure that you are focusing on the right estates for both quality & value, at an appropriate discount.  Resources such as Langtons website not only help you understand the market and the value of currently traded wines (Australian and international), but also their fine wine specialists can provide guidance on the individual estates and vintage conditions.

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