En Primeur: Everything you need to know about buying En Primeur

En Primeur is a system that both merchants and vineyards rely on as a sort of futures market for wines that need time in the cellar. It refers to the process of buying wines before they are bottled and released onto the market.

This allows the Domaine a chance to recoup some costs, and in return they offer the wines at pre-release prices, allowing you to get hold of fine wines at cheaper prices. These wines are usually shipped 2-3 years after the vintages as these wines often need time in barrel and/or bottle.

Why buy wine En Primeur?
The opening En Primeur price is almost always considerably cheaper than the future price of the wine on the open market. It can also be the only way to secure wines that are available in very limited quantities.

What do I pay for?
The price of the wine is exclusive of Duty and VAT – also known as “in bond”. These additional costs only become liable when the wines are shipped to the UK and leave our bonded warehouse. We can also set you up with your own storage to keep the wines safe until you are ready to take receipt of them.
Once the wines arrive in the UK, Duty and VAT can be deferred further if the wine is stored 'in bond' in a registered bonded warehouse. If you are planning to re-sell your wines later, it is advisable to store them under bond.
We do add a small charge of £15 inc. VAT for bringing the wines over from mainland Europe, landing them In Bond, and transferring them to your own bonded account or to your home. This covers all administrative and transport fees whether your order is for one case or twenty cases (so we do hope you take advantage of this and order all your EP wines from us!).

Is my money safe?
Your money is exceptionally safe buying EP as we pay the producers as soon as our clients pay us. We have never had any producer let us down on delivering EP and have fulfilled every order.

How much is Wine Duty?
£2.16 per 75cl bottle of still wine.*
£2.77 per 75cl bottle of sparkling wine.*
UK VAT = 20% (applied after duty)
*Rates are subject to change by the government in February 2019


What does "In Bond" mean?
When the vintage is bottled and delivered in the UK, the cases are held initially in a bonded warehouse. Wines in bond (IB) have not yet had the Duty and VAT paid on them. They must be stored in a bonded warehouse approved by HM Customs & Excise.
Most of our Fine Wines are available for purchase under bond as they often need to be laid down to allow them to mature. Many clients choose therefore to store them in our bonded warehouse under a personal account and pay the tax as and when they wish to get the wines delivered.


What are the advantages of buying In Bond?
The advantages of buying In Bond are that the Duty and VAT is deferred. Should you choose to sell the wine on (in bond) at a later date, you will never pay Duty and VAT. If you choose to have the wine delivered at a later date, the VAT is payable on the original sale price of the wine, NOT its current market value. Wines stored in bond are much more attractive to prospective buyers and brokers. Merchants or brokers will usually give you the same price whether or not the wine is duty and VAT paid.
Furthermore wines stored in bond are much easier to trace (there are a limited number of bonded warehouses). Therefore, there is a better chance that wines have been stored correctly.

When are En Primeur wines shipped to the UK?
En Primeur wines are usually promoted by reference to a specific vintage and tend to arrive 2-3 years after the vintage marked on the bottle. For example, Bordeaux Chateaux as a whole tend to sell their wines EP in May following the vintage (for example Bordeaux 2017 was sold EP in May 2018) and will then actually be physically released from the Chateaux anywhere between November 2019-February 2020 as the estate deems their wines ready for release (has enough age time in cellar).
Our offer will indicate an anticipated date by when that vintage will be bottled and shipped to the UK, such dates are an indication only and are not guaranteed.

What happens after the wine is shipped to the UK?
Following shipment, your wines, by default, will be entered directly in to our Octavian, Nexus account in bond. Once the wines are in, we will notify you by email to ask if you would like them sent to a bonded account if not already indicated at time of order, or your home if you wish to have them released from bond. Customers who elect to have their wine cleared from bond will be required to pay duty and VAT at the prevailing rates at the time of delivery.

For more information on En Primeur, or to register your interest please email us info@honestgrapes.co.uk and one of our wine gurus will be happy to advise.