Bordeaux Wine Futures | Investing in Wine

Futures

Discover Bordeaux Wine Futures and the En Primeur system. Learn why and how to invest in fine wines, secure rare vintages, and enjoy potential financial gains with this unique purchasing method.

The Bordeaux wine region


Bordeaux, the largest vineyard of fine wines in the world, is located in the Southwest of France. This region enjoys a temperate climate, with hot summers and relatively mild winters, allowing the vines to thrive fully. Benefiting from an excellent terroir, microclimates, and the unique history of the Aquitaine region, Bordeaux has long set the standard for fine wines globally, a trend that continues today.

However, its history has not always been smooth. At the end of the 19th century, the entire vineyard was ravaged by the Phylloxera epidemic. Then, in the late 1970s, Bordeaux faced a severe economic crisis. Many châteaux were forced to sell to financial partners. Others started producing second wines, made from the same harvest and in the same style as the first wines, reducing the waste of grapes that did not make it into the production of fine wines. These difficult times led to the rise of the En Primeur system in the early 1980s.

What is the En-Primeur / Wine Futures Campaign?


The En Primeur or Wine Futures campaign is a method by which wines are sold in advance, while they are still maturing in barrels. This campaign usually takes place every spring, with wine producers presenting their latest vintage to buyers, critics, and journalists who travel from around the world and come to Bordeaux to taste samples of these wines. During this period, buyers can taste these unfinished wines and place orders at a price that is often significantly lower than the cost of the wine once it is bottled and released on the market.

When was the Futures system created?

The Futures system was created over 200 years ago by the British and was only available for the negoce. It has only been accessible to private clients since the 1980s. This system allows estates to sell their wines through allocations before they are bottled. The funds available from these sales are then used to finance operating expenses and the following year's production.

Bordeaux is the only region in the world to use the futures system through a closed market also known as the "Place de Bordeaux." It was created by the British in the early 1980s and quickly became a cornerstone for Bordeaux traders. Estates sell the vast majority of their production to the traders of the "Place de Bordeaux" through brokers. Of the 400 traders in Bordeaux, only 150 work with the grand Crus Classés; the other 250 are in relations with "petits châteaux."

The traders' role is to represent estate owners and to distribute and promote their wines worldwide. Bordeaux is the only region in the world that operates according to this model.

Why Invest in Wine Futures?


Investing in wine futures, also known as En Primeur, offers several benefits, making it an attractive option for wine enthusiasts and investors alike. This centuries-old practice allows buyers to purchase wines while they are still aging in barrels, typically 18 to 24 months before bottling and release on the market. This system is now also adopted by other renowned wine regions, such as Burgundy, the Rhône Valley, and even some parts of Italy and the New World.

 

Five reasons to buy Wine Futures

Price & Investment

Purchasing wine futures often means paying a lower price than what the wine will cost upon release. As the demand for fine wines continues to grow, these savings can be substantial. Fine wines often appreciate in value over time. By buying at En Primeur prices, investors can potentially see significant returns as the wines mature and become more sought after.

A chance to secure your favorite Bordeaux wines

Many highly sought-after wines are allocated in limited quantities and can sell out quickly once released. By buying futures, collectors can secure allocations of these rare wines before they are available to the general public.

Authenticity & optimal storage conditions

When you purchase wine futures, the wines are stored in optimal conditions at the winery until they are ready to be shipped. This ensures that the wines age properly and maintain their quality.

Original Wooden Case

When buying Futures wine, you have the option to purchase the wines in their original packaging as provided by the producing estate. Each item is marked as either "case" (wooden case) or "box" (cardboard box) on the item page, with cases available in 6 or 12-bottle formats depending on the estate.

Special Occasion

Futures wines are ideal for building a collection, investing, or commemorating special occasions. Many purchase Futures wines for milestone years, such as anniversaries, births, or special events like retirement, graduation, or marriage. A certificate of purchase can be provided to gift the recipient before the wine is bottled.

 

Which Bordeaux wine should I buy En Primeur?

During the wine futures campaign, hundreds of journalists make their way to Bordeaux, where they taste samples of the wines during what is called "La semaine des Primeurs" or En Primeur week which usually takes place in hosting chateaux the last week of April. Following these tastings, the journalists released their detailed tasting notes in notable wine publications such as Decanter, Drinks Business and more. Wine critics also reveal their scores for the newly-released wines, giving you an idea of which wine is their favorite during the campaign.

Investing in wine futures is an excellent way for wine lovers and investors to access high-quality wines at a lower cost, ensure optimal storage conditions, and potentially realize significant financial gains. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a new enthusiast, the En Primeur system offers a unique opportunity to expand your wine portfolio with some of the finest wines in the world.

 

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