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Liv-ex boss says fine wine storage Vine could be 'game-changer'

Published:  06 February, 2014

Liv-ex managing director James Miles reckons the company's fine wine storage concept Vine could be a "game-changer", dramatically lowering the costs and risks of trading.

Speaking to, Miles said there is a lot of inefficiency around supply chain, logistics and accounts and it is working hard to come up with solutions to these problems.

"We want to make fine wine trading more transparent, efficient and safe. Its opacity, inefficiency and risk are the three reasons that stop people trading," he said .

"The current supply chain was set up on the assumption that wine is an FMCG, and should be moved around as a bag of sugar or pint of milk would be - get into the shop, out the door and drunk as quickly as possible. But fine wine is different. It's not about fulfilling an immediate consumer need. The vast majority of it is going from one storage account to another.

"It doesn't like being moved around - it's expensive, time-consuming and risky - it could get nicked or damaged."

He said the company's Vine storage concept, which operates three temperature controlled warehouses in Hong Kong, London and Bordeaux, could represent a solution. It catalogues, photographs and codes wines into a database, meaning that when someone buys or sells a wine, instead of having to physically move the stock to take ownership, it is done electronically.

"It's still very much at the experimental stage, but the long-term implications are really interesting. It could dramatically lower the costs of trading fine wine. It could be a game changer."

For more in-depth views from James Miles on Bordeaux wines and other up-and-coming regions, read our Q&A.