Fractional barriques, the “new frontier” of wine collecting

The new initiative made by Crurated has the potential to disrupt wine collecting: this is the purchase of fractional barriques by the best Borgogna’s wine, exclusively for platforms members

“The new frontier of wine collecting? The fractionation of barriques en primeur (the barrels still in mandatory aging, ndrbarriques en primeurndrcoinnoisseursCrurated ) so that connoisseurs can secure some of the world’s rarest wines in advance of market release. All thanks to NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) technology. This is the latest innovation at Crurated, a platform for wine enthusiasts with a membership system designed to connect connoisseurs and collectors with the world’s best producers.

Three peculiarities of the initiative: the possibility to choose even only part of the barrel for sale (hence, fractional purchase), certification of provenance thanks to blockchain and NFT technologies, and customization of formats and labels with which to bottle. Two common threads: the Burgundy cru and the highest quality. One added benefit, namely the experience of meeting producers through winery visits and exclusive dinners. With Alfonso de Gaetano, founder of the company, we talk about how this initiative came about and why it has the potential to revolutionize wine collecting (and the barrels on exclusive sale in the coming weeks).

The en primeur sale, from Bordeaux to Crurated

The en primeur sale of wine is traditionally associated with France’s Bordeaux region. Since the seventeenth century, producers, courtiers (the intermediaries), and négociants (the merchants) in the area would meet about six months after the harvest to reserve a specific quantity of wine, which could still be in vats or barrels, to be withdrawn after the aging period. The system made it possible to secure the best wines at prices competitive with those with which they would be presented on the market once bottled. Three obstacles, one actual and two potential, stood before this dynamic; however, the inability of the end customers to purchase en primeur. Even if this mode had been accessible, purchasing all the wine in each barrel could have been challenging for an individual customer. Finding collectors and investors to join forces with could have been difficult even when not buying alone.

With the fractional ownership of barrels introduced by Crurated, however, these obstacles are overcome: barrels are presented online directly by producers to all Crurated members, who can secure even a small portion of the barrel at auction through a sealed envelope bid, with a value equal to or greater than the list price.

The fractional ownership revolution

“”Fractional ownership is a theme that has been circulating for a few decades and has only recently been applied to digital art and NFTs,”” de Gaetano explains. However, “”while buying a share of work through NFT-think of the Bored Ape images-can be a unique application of such technology, ownership is shared and not something that will ever be enjoyed individually. On the other hand, our concept revolutionizes the fractional ownership made possible by NFT technology by offering the value of provenance so that the wine purchased is authenticated a second time. Our members will also be able to customize bottle sizes and labels and thus appreciate their share of real-world rarity.””

Exclusive sales in the coming weeks

Here, then, is the revolutionary potential of the initiative promoted by Crurated, “”which completely changes the way rare wines are sold to consumers before bottling,”” adds de Gaetano. The producers also recognized an upheaval: “”many of our most distinguished customers often ask us for collectible formats. However, determining a priori how much wine to produce beyond the traditional Magnums (1.5-liter, ed.) can be a challenge,”” says Nicolas Groffier, grandson of the famous Domain Robert Groffier, one of Burgundy’s best winemakers. “”The sale of fractionated barrels and the possibility for customers to customize bottle sizes allows us to determine these parameters ex-ante. And, now, the only way to secure collectible formats from Domaine Robert Groffier is through Crurated.””

A collaboration between Crurated and some of the world’s most recognized producers, also confirmed by the agreement signed last July with Charles Lachaux, Burgundy’s most innovative winemaker, for which Crurated now has exclusive rights for private customers globally. Not only that, during the week of October 3-9, Crurated members will be able to grab a share of the 6 barrels made available by Charles Lacheaux. And, in the weeks to follow, many of Burgundy’s leading producers will join the fractional barrel revolution.

The schedule of sales of Crurated fractionated barrels

Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Domaine Fourrier (2 barrels)

Oct. 3 – 9: Charles Lachaux (6 barrels)

Oct. 10 – 16: Domaine Vincent Dancer (1 barrel)

Oct. 17 – 24: Domaine De Montille (2 barriques)

Oct. 24 – 30: Domaine Robert Groffier (5 barriques)

October 31 – November 6: Domaine Pierre Girardin (5 barriques)

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