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Meet VintageCellar - Private Member Wine App

18th November 2021
Islay Robinson GROUP CEO

Islay Robinson

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Interview with Selim Bocti, CEO of VintageCellar
Islay Robinson
GROUP CEO

Islay Robinson

Selim Bocti is CEO and Founder of VintageCellar App. Passionate about wine and enriching the experience of collecting, appreciating and enjoying wine, he set up VintageCellar to create a bespoke fine wine journey for the digital age. The app helps VintageCellar’s elite community of wine lovers to build and nurture their fine wine portfolio.

Where does your passion for wine stem from?

Although I’d been introduced to the world of fine wine at a young age, my wine journey began in earnest some 20 years ago when my curiosity led me to explore beyond the mere act of drinking wine. I started by visiting iconic wineries, first in Bordeaux, then in Burgundy, later in Tuscany and Piedmont. Getting access to behind-the-scenes stories, experiencing life and work at the winery, participating in vertical tastings, these were all unforgettable experiences. It didn’t take long before I realised that I had been embarking on my wine journey with a one-way ticket!

What has turned out to be the more fulfilling and inspiring is the moments shared with emblematic winemakers. I especially recall the day I spent with Angelo Gaja at his Piedmont estate. First and foremost, legendary winemakers are visionary craftsmen, and when they share their passion with you, you’re instantly carried by their infectious enthusiasm. Over time, these relationships have grown, built on mutual trust, and I am fortunate enough to call some of them friends.

Wine is special; it is not like any other commodity. It provides an emotional and organoleptic experience. We all remember the first bottle that made us fall in love with wine. And the pleasure of wine is infinitely increased when shared with the people we love - friends and family members, either in a casual setting or to celebrate important moments in our lives.

VintageCellar Founders and Team at Château L'Évangile,  Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite - Bordeaux.jpg

What was the inspiration behind launching the VintageCellar app?

We wanted to provide fine wine aficionados and collectors with the same experiences that have enriched our own wine journey. We wanted them to reap the rewards of two decades of trustworthy relationship building with key stakeholders in the wine industry. At VintageCellar, we work closely with some of the world's most famous wineries, helping them to bring their bottles, story and brand to the table or cellar of fine wine devotees.

We see VintageCellar as an all-inclusive digital bespoke experience provider aimed at a selected community of members. And our vision for the app is for it to become the prism through which all the wants and needs of fine wine lovers are fulfilled. It goes well beyond curating rare and exclusive wines. At the heart of our model lies a comprehensive set of services that answer every individual request pertaining to reliable storage, cellar management or asset valuation.

What is the mission of VintageCellar App, and what services do you offer?

At the very core of the VintageCellar project is the development of a close-knit community of fine wine lovers and collectors. In fact, one of the key strengths that differentiates us from the

market is our experience-focus approach, rather than purely purchase- or investment-focus. We are also fostering a privileged space for exchanges, sharing and meeting. By earning our members trust, guiding them, inspiring them, we wish to take a central role throughout their gratifying and enriching fine wine journey.

You can see it as a digital private club, yet the experience provided is totally real, and the benefits are tangible. We take enormous pride in the level of service and expertise we provide, whether it is to source, store or deliver the most highly prized and scarce bottles in the world.

Even though we have developed state-of-the-art technological tools to address the individual needs of our community, the app is not run by computer engineers and financial analysts. Our added value relies heavily on personalisation, human-to-human contact. Whether our members are interested in acquiring wine as an investment or for future drinking, they interact in real-time with our team of dedicated sommeliers and cellar managers.

Meet VintageCellar - Private Member Wine App

What does your clientele look like?

Like attracts like! The genesis of the VintageCellar app is a desire to share all the knowledge and relationships that we’ve built throughout our fine journey with friends and business partners. For the most part, that’s HNWIs, top executives or family offices, looking to expand their foothold in the fine wine business. My peers are our target audience, so I can humbly claim to understand the specific needs of this clientele and, consequently conceive a worthy ecosystem in which they are fulfilled. They want the best, and we are committed to providing them with the best.

We are also aiming at wine investors who see fine wine as an asset class that has outperformed traditional asset classes over the last two decades. They value the expertise of our team that works in full transparency and looks forward to building wine collections that will gain value over time.

Most recently, we were happily surprised to grow our community with a new typology of members: younger generations - a lot of start-uppers who wish to start their wine collection, but don’t really know how to get started. They value the fact that we mentor and provide them with experiences, which VintageCellar is all about.

STUDIO TONELLI - VINTAGE CELLAR - 2021 - WEB-602.jpg

How would you describe the VintageCellar experience and what does it entail?

Money can buy wine, but it cannot buy a lifelong wine experience! We didn’t launch VintageCellar just to add another marketplace into an already crowded space. In addition to providing unparalleled access to the world of fine wine, we wanted to draw on our own wine adventures and make the most out of the privileged relationships we’ve developed over the years.

Maybe the most valuable contribution to our members is our curated tasting trips across selected wine regions. These were instrumental all along my own fine wine journey and I thought it was

important to bring together fine wine connoisseurs with iconic winemakers. It’s the ultimate wine experience, in every way!

How can wine enthusiasts join your platform?

Our aim is to build a close-knit community of fine wine aficionados and collectors and to provide bespoke and personalised services. In order to do so, we need to ensure a certain level of exclusivity. Yet, we want to remain inclusive, unlike some existing private wine clubs that command exorbitantly high fee-based membership.

We operate by invitation or referral only, which turned out to be a successful approach if we consider our organic growth given we launched the app just over a year ago.

With thanks to Enness for the opportunity to present VintageCellar, I invite readers to get in touch with us to learn more about the VintageCellar experience! They can either send an email to [email protected] or call us at +41 79 791 90 00. Our website is not to be missed, showcases our bespoke services dedicated to fine wine collectors!

What are your favourite global hotspots (for enjoying wine and more)?

  • 67 Pall Mall in London

  • Arts Club in London

  • Burgundy in Beirut 

Call us +44 (0) 203 758 9393 or submit your details and a broker will get in touch.

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