Investing in South African Wine

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019
WOSA Blog, Jamie Goode
There's been a lot of talk of late about the potential of buying South Africa's fine wines as investments. This is a completely new development, and it's not without its sceptics. But many think the fact that it is being talked about suggests that South Africa's top wines have come of age.

Wine investment is nothing new. The classic well-to-do English wine connoisseur would typically buy more Bordeaux en primeur (the process by which the top wines are offered in the spring following the vintage as futures, before they are even bottled) than he or she needed. Typically, between buying the wines and drinking them, the value of the wines would have increased, so they would sell off some of their wine and, if they were lucky, drink for free.

Over the years, investment in the top wines of Bordeaux, and latterly Burgundy and selected top examples from California, Australia and Tuscany, has grown to the point that people with no intention of drinking the wines will use them as an investment vehicle. The wines are typically sold en primeur or on release, and then are kept in temperature controlled storage 'in bond' (without duty having been paid), and then traded on. It's big business, and wine is regularly auctioned in Europe, the USA and increasingly the far east for eye-watering sums.

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