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Winebank turns focus on the UK

Published:  21 February, 2018

Winebank, the private members club for wine enthusiasts, has revealed it is to make its first foray into the UK this year.

The business said it was looking to open its first UK ‘bank’, which combines networking and business club aspects with the ‘perfect storage’ of member’s high-end wines, in the fourth quarter of this year.

The plan was to establish smaller sites in “fashionably” London neighborhoods that would focus on the business club aspect, with members able to store a smaller number of bottles, which they will have access to 24 hours a day, co-founder, Steven Buttlar, told Harpers.

In addition, plans were in place to open larger ‘banks’ on the outskirts of the capital, which would focus on the storage of larger quantities of wine, with members able to store their entire wine collections there, he said.

The UK was a perfect market for Winebank because private members’ clubs formed “part of the country’s DNA”, said Buttlar, adding the concept did not yet exist to this extend in the UK where you either had wine clubs or “pretty raw” storage facilities.

“Imagine having your ‘own’ cool wine spaces in London’s nicest areas, which you can visit at 5pm or 3am with your friends and business partners in order to enjoy your own bottles of wine - that is the kind of hyper-flexible experience we are already providing in our international Winebanks today and our members love it,” said Buttlar.

Upon request, Winebank can certify the wine kept on the premises have been stored under perfect conditions, something of “great importance” to potential future buyers, added Buttlar.

Since launch in Germany in 2009, the Winebank network has grown to comprise eight locations spread across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and most recently Spain, where it opened in Palma at the end of last month.

Members have access to all ‘banks’, with each featuring a self-service ‘honesty bar’ to allow members who don’t rent a compartment in the location the opportunity to enjoy “exceptionally” good wine.

Alongside Winebank’s new Palma location, the business is looking to open ‘banks’ in Cologne, Zermatt and the US.