Selim Bocti: the new age of fine wine

25 August, 2022

VintageCellar is a member-only fine wine investment app that launched in the UK in July. Drinks International caught up with chief executive and founder Selim Bocti to talk about his mission to bring fine wine investment into the 21st century.

The story behind the app’s creation is one that begins with Bocti’s first introduction to fine wine at the age of 20 in his home country of Lebanon.

“I was put in charge of running our family business that had been specializing in fine wine and luxury spirits imports and retail. I started visiting wineries on a regular basis and got very attached to the world of fine wine - the exclusivity, the rarity, the people behind the stories.

“Throughout the years, I built strong relationships with chateaux owners and winemakers at the most prestigious wineries in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and the US.

“Tasting unique vintages and experiencing the behind-the-scene stories with those who make the finest wines was the real genesis of the VintageCellar.”

Bocti teamed up with his close friend and fellow fine wine enthusiast Georges Chaloub and together they launched the VintageCellar app in 2020.

“We set out to build a best-in-class platform backed by a team of wine professionals and sommeliers that would be well-prepared to provide a concierge-style service for a selected community of members.

“The app allows one to discover and collect some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after wines, to be a part of a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and to enjoy the skills of one’s own sommelier and regular expert updates on new vintages.

“Our users want to acquire wines and be able to consume some and keep some for years to come. VintageCellar’s stock facilities mean they can keep the wine in our storage and avoid any space issues. They can buy wines that they can keep in the quantities they desire without the burden of space.

“It is a one-stop shop for those who wish to build a wine portfolio, while activity enjoying the sensorial and social aspects of an ultra-exclusive club of wine enthusiasts.

The world of fine wine may not be the most embracive of modernity, but Bocti believes that by using technology VintageCellar can improve the experience of fine wine collecting and investment.

“The tech is a journey that is constantly evolving by the day, new features, added parameters, it’s a never-ending learning process, but the beauty of the reach we get thanks to tech is so powerful and so precise.

“We have developed a platform where customers can contact their sommelier 24/7 to make the experience as easy and accessible as possible. You can take a picture of a wine and share it with your concierge or sommelier and can send wines directly to your home by selecting your stock.

“The technology they’re using gives them detailed information on weather conditions, harvesting decisions, tasting notes.

While VintageCellar is a members-only service, Bocti doesn’t believe in charging membership fees.

“It’s exclusive because we want to keep giving the best service, but we don’t believe in fees at this stage.  We will not accept more than 1000 persons in our community as we strive to keep the intimate person to person, hands on relationship with all our members.

“Access is limited to persons that have been referred or interested persons that send their desire to join the community while visiting our website, or our targeted communication. Our dedicated team will review all interested parties to make an informed decision, but we are open to anyone and everyone with an interest in investing in fine wine.

“We are especially excited to receive an influx of the younger generation of entrepreneurs and leaders that have succeeded early and are looking to alternative asset allocation.

“Our aim is to mentor them about fine wine investment as a long-term process and share our stories and love for fine wine so they can appreciate their inventory and utilise its full potential.”

For more information and access to the VintageCellar app visit vintage-cellar.com





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