Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wine Crates: Investment or Accessory? - Portchester, NY March 8th 2012 – There’s nothing quite like the vintage appeal of a wine crate. Wine crates add charm to wine cellars yearning for a twist of authenticity.
In the last 10 years the United States has been severely affected by the “wine bug”. Sales of fine wine are up an average of 12% every year, even in a down economy. The US has dramatically changed its relationship to wine.

As we’ve moved from Budweiser to Chateau Beychevelle, a new playground for the affluent has emerged: The private wine cellar. This has become a place that’s not for just storing wine anymore. Gone are the days of endless rows filled with wine bottles in a dull cave-like structure. The modern wine cellar has become a haven for social gatherings where rare wine bottles are opened, chats about the future take place, old friends are cherished and new friends are made. The modern wine cellar is often two or more rooms; One is 58 degrees for the wine, and the others are cozy with plush amenities for the enjoyment of company.

This evolution of the wine cellar has spurned an entire industry catering to its beautification. There are wine cellar designers, architects, builders and interior decorators all specializing in creating the perfect wine cellar for you. With the wine cellar creators comes the wine cellar accessories, and we all love those!

Introducing the original wooden wine crate -

Wine crates are the staple of any wine cellar. There are different sizes and styles that can fit anywhere. Wineries all over the world make them, and each country makes them a little differently. High-end wineries craft them to protect their most valuable wines. Most wine crates are branded with the logo of the winery that made them, and that logo is likely to be hundreds of years old (If not thousands). Wine crates were mankind’s first packaging type, so many of these logo designs represent very ancient artwork.

The beauty part about wine crates is they serve two décor enhancing purposes: They’re made specifically to store wine, and the logo designs make for very eye-catching show pieces. They also serve another little known purpose: Wine crates are an investment.

If you have a collection of fine wine from the same winery and vintage, you need the wine’s original crate. This is because wine sold in its original crate yields 10% – 15% more at auction. This is a substantial premium!

Looking to sell a house? A wine cellar increases the value of a home as an addition. More people are drinking wine, so a wine cellar can be a major reason to buy a home. Home stagers have picked up on this trend, and are using wine crates to fill-in areas of a house that look too plain.

Wine crates themselves are an investment. In the last 8 years we’ve witnessed a triple in price for original wine crates. This is thanks in part to four reasons:

·         Original wine crates were built to last for generations

·         90% of the world’s wineries are using cardboard boxes and making less wooden wine crates. Within the next 10 years it will be nearly impossible to acquire them

·         Fine wine stores, investors and collectors realize the value of original wine crates, and they’re utilizing them for storage and display

·         Wineries that produce very expensive wines only produce 5 – 10 thousand cases of wine per vintage (one case is either 6 or 12 bottles of wine). Half of those wine bottles are purchased before the vintage is even introduced to the public. This means that wine crate production is very limited every year.

There’s already a major shift happening with fine wine makers and wine crates. We can see this most in Napa Valley. The vast majority of Napa winemakers are using cardboard boxes as an economical alternative to wooden wine crates. While this option is cheaper in the short-term, it does carry a grave disadvantage: The wine itself will be viewed as cheaper as well.

The smart higher-end Napa wineries such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Hundred Acre realize this and continue production of their signature wine crates. The end result has been higher dollars per wine bottle and a cult following of loyal collectors and investors. In the end these wineries produce less and make more. I strongly believe that wooden wine crates contribute greatly to the success of a wine maker.

Whether accessory, investment or both, the wine crate has proven itself time and again to be the best way to keep fine wine. For the last thousand years no packaging has ever truly replaced it, and our appreciation for the wine crate has never been quantified.

Specializing in unique wine cellar decoration and home décor. Winepine offers the world’s finest original wine crates, wooden wine boxes and wine crate panels. We also custom make wine crates and boxes personalized with your artwork or logo.

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