En Primeur Explained


The fine wine world is breathing a short sigh of relief after a whirlwind of Burgundy En Primeur 2017 tastings in London, but it won’t be long until the hard work of sniffing, sipping and spitting begins again with the En Primeur Week in Bordeaux which kicks off in early April. So what does “en primeur” mean and why is it so important for fine wine investors?

The French term “en primeur” is usually translated as “wine futures” which encapsulates one of the most important features of this way of buying fine wine. Purchasing en primeur means you’re buying the wine while it’s still in the barrel and has yet to be bottled and released. Wines bought in this way are usually bottled and released two to three years following the vintage, so you’ll have to wait until then to get your hands on your purchases.

Why would anyone buy wine before it’s been bottled? There are actually a lot of benefits for investors who decide to get involved in the En Primeur campaigns. Firstly, En Primeur often offers buyers to get in at the lowest market price for their chosen wine, giving them an edge over those who buy in later. En Primeur is also a way for collectors and investors to secure wines that are rare and difficult to source after their general release to the market.

Another advantage is that wines sold En Primeur are purchased in bond, meaning that the buyer does not pay VAT or duty as long as they remain stored at the winery or at bonded warehouses in the UK. This means investors have less initial outlay than if they choose to purchase wines via auction or other means that are not stored in bonded warehouses.

Guaranteed provenance is a key benefit of buying En Primeur as the wines are coming directly from the winery where they will have been stored in optimum conditions. This is why buying En Primeur is often viewed as a safer option than other methods of sourcing fine wines like auctions or private sales.

Buying into En Primeur doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to wait years for a return either, as prices can increase drastically even before bottling as a result of excellent critic reviews. As with any investment, there is no guarantee that prices of En Primeur wines will rise, but this way of buying wines offers an opportunity to get in ahead of the crowd and can be an extremely attractive venture thanks to high potential profit margins.

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