For most collectors of fine wine, their wine is a passion and a pleasure. But like many pleasures, they can take up more and more space in your life and a small accumulation of a few carefully selected vintages for special occasions soon becomes more of a storage problem.
But the care required in storing and handling a collection of fine wine increases exponentially as the investment value rises. There is a world of difference between caring for and handling your own collection in your own cellar or storage facility, and passing that task to someone else.
But how do you decide to whom you should entrust your collection, especially when there are so many people prepared to offer a service?
Obviously, there is a paramount need to have the highest standards of care and security, in the same manner you would wish to protect valuable jewellery. But what that means in practical terms will depend on your own assessment of risk. The best people are those who can help you assess risks of which you may be unaware, and they will already have the fullest insurance in place to cover you.
Security and pristine storage facilities are only one facet of what leading companies like Octavian provide. At Octavian they believe in applying extraordinary care to every single customer. Their watchword is ‘would I be happy with that, if it were my wine?’ Vincent O’Brien, Managing Director at Octavian Vaults, is adamant, “Your fine wine needs to be stored in perfect conditions to avoid any deterioration, but you’d be surprised at how many people entrust hugely valuable collections to our care without even asking anything more than ‘what’s the cost?’”
You need to look a little deeper than the cost and fancy brochures or websites. How do you find the difference? “Protecting the interest of our customers and understanding risk is at the heart of Octavian’s proposition,” says O’Brien. “Only when you fully appreciate what can go wrong and then have systems and service that pre-empts problems can you say you are providing the best. Our team of people supported by our rigorous processes underpin the highest levels of service and protection of our clients’ valuable assets. But if something does happen and there is a loss, we have ensured the client will not suffer financially and there will be no arguments between a third-party insurance assessor and our own insurer.”
This matters because when any investor comes to sell, the discerning buyer will want to know when each vintage was purchased and where it has been stored and for how long; what the bottles and their labels looked like on purchase and today. They may even require the wine to be delivered in its original wooden cases too. If none of this is recorded on Day One, you cannot reconstruct it retrospectively. So, knowing the right way to do things matters.
Providing extraordinary care of the most extraordinary wines means Octavian has grown to become the world’s leading cellarage company. As long as people collect fine wine, Octavian will be there to look after it for them.
Vincent O’Brien, Managing Director at Octavian Vaults