CROWN WINE CELLARS

The 5 Questions Every Wine Collector Should Know The Answers To

(AND HAVE IN WRITING)

 

 

 

 

 

1.   Where Exactly Is My Wine?

 

Many wine storage companies operate multiple facilities that may vary as to the storage conditions provided.  It is every customer’s right to know the exact location where your wine is being cellared or stored.

 

What should be done:

 

· Ask your storage company for the exact location of your wine, the full address, and contact details of those in charge of that particular facility.

 

· Ask if you can personally inspect your wines at that facility as well as inspect the facility.

 

· If you cannot physically inspect the facility, ask for detailed photos to be sent to you showing the general conditions, security, racking, cooling systems, etc.

 

 

2.   What Are The Exact Conditions That My Wine Is Being Kept In?

 

Wine storage (above ground) and cellar (below ground) operations vary enormously regarding the physical conditions that they can offer.

 

It is imperative to protect your wine’s provenance and thus the ultimate taste (wine is a living product after all) and resale value. 

 

The fine wine world is evolving and the inferior (but currently accepted) storage conditions of today will not be acceptable to buyers of fine wine tomorrow.  However, you will never be able to turn the clock back to change the storage history of your fine wines - “Once tainted, forever stained”.

 

What should be done:

 

Ask your storage company the following:

 

· Is my wine being stored above ground or cellared below ground?

 

· If my wine is being stored above ground:

 

̃ Does the cellar or storage facility have climate control (Heaters, coolers, dehumidifiers and humidifiers all operating simultaneously 24 hours per day, 365 days per year);

 

̃ Or basic air-conditioning and heating (each system only switched on when needed to compensate for summer or winter conditions);

 

̃ Or basic air-conditioning only;

 

̃ Or no systems at all?

 

NOTE:     A BASIC AIR-CONDITIONER UTILIZED IN ANY STORAGE BUILDING CANNOT MAINTAIN A PERFECT 13 DEGREE ENVIRONMENT - THIS IS SIMPLY NOT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE AND SHOULD BE CHALLENGED IF CLAIMED.

 

NOTE:     A BASIC AIR-CONDITIONER SWITCHES ON AND OFF CONTINUOUSLY BY VIRTUE OF ITS DESIGN THUS CAUSES CONSTANT RISES AND FALLS IN TEMPERATURE - THE ARCH ENEMY OF WINE.

 

̃ Is it in a large single open warehouse structure or in smaller, isolated and controlled structures?

 

̃ Does it utilize multiple professional climate control systems or one large industrial system?

 

NOTE:     A SINGLE LARGE INDUSTRIAL AIR-CONDITIONER IS NOT ABLE TO ADAPT TO VARIATIONS IN TEMPERATURE FOUND IN LARGE FACILITIES.  ITS TEMPERATURE DELIVERY IS BY ITS VERY NATURE, INDUSTRIAL (UNSOPHISTICATED AND ONE-DIMENSIONAL).

 

· If my wine is being cellared below ground:

 

̃ Does the cellar facility have climate control (Heaters, coolers dehumidifiers and humidifiers all operating simultaneously 24 hours per day, 365 days per year);

 

̃ Or basic air-conditioning and heating (each system only switched on when needed to compensate for heat and cold);

 

̃ Or basic air-conditioning only;

 

̃ Or no systems at all?

 

· Has my wine ever been moved from one facility to another?

 

· How was my wine transported to its current location - what kind of vehicle was utilized - was the vehicle’s cargo area air-conditioned?

 

NOTE:       ENCLOSED CARGO AREAS CAN BECOME VERY HOT WHEN EXPOSED TO DIRECT SUNLIGHT EVEN IN COOL CLIMATES.

 

· At what time of the year was my wine transported to its current location?

 

 

3.   Do I Own My Wine?

 

Make sure that you are the only person with title to your wine.

 

What should be done:

 

· Ask your storage company outright whether you are the direct and sole owner of the wine, or is your wine part of a company account?

 

· Ask your storage company outright if they go out of business, will your wine be claimed by their receiver or will you be able to claim your wine?

 

· Ask your storage company if your name appears on every specific case that you own?

 

 

4.   Is My Wine Covered For Theft, Loss or Damage Up To Its Current Market Value?

 

· Ask your storage company if you have 100% insurance on your wine at full current market replacement value?

 

· Ask your storage company how this insurance value will be calculated at the time of the claim?

 

· Ask your storage company or merchant whether the insurance covers the total value of all the wines held at that facility?  I.E. In the event of a total catastrophe, are all the wines held at that facility covered to the combined value of all the wines held there.

 

 

5.   How Good Is The Security Where My Wine Is Kept?

 

· Is there 24-hour physical security/guards on duty?

 

· Are all exits and entrances alarmed and are these alarms connected directly to the police and private security response units?

 

· How easy can an intruder/other members of the public gain entry to the facility?

 

· Can the facility be accessed at any time of the day or night by any account holder thus exposing your wine to a constant security threat.

 

· Could an intruder/other members of the public gain access to your wine over an extended period of time without you being alerted?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crown Wine Cellars Limited

Address:  18 Deep Water Bay Drive

Shouson Hill,

Hong Kong Island,

Hong Kong

Tel:     2580 6287

Fax:    2580 6283

Web:  www.crownwinecellars.com