NFTs are transforming the trade in premium wine bottles

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If you haven’t heard of NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens yet – get ready. Widespread in the world of luxury and art, these three letters are appearing in the world of wine. What is it about ? “It’s a digital title deed”explains Marion Barral, consultant of AOC Conseils. “An unalterable certificate, to which we can add information on the life of a bottle of wine: the places where it was kept, its successive owners…”, adds Camilo Gomez Vargas, digital marketing manager of Bernard Magrez.

For the sale of high-flying bottles to collectors

Today, NFTs are mostly used to sell high-flying bottles to collectors without these bottles being shipped to them. Maison Bouey, in Ambarès-et-Lagrave, Gironde, launched last year.

“We see a lot of interest in it.indicates Jacques Bouey, its president. Usually a bottle of grand cru passes through several intermediaries before reaching the customer: trader, importer, distributor… and it happens that there are fakes in circulation. In Asia the bottles are emptied and then filled with an inferior quality wine and resold at a high price. With NFTs, the wines from our cellars are kept in optimal conditions until the owners request them. »

From €1 to €5 to generate an NFT

To generate an NFT you need from 1 to 5€ depending on the platforms that issue these certificates. “We attached our NFTs to six-bottle cases and not bottles, says Jacques Bouey. It’s cheaper. » The trader put these digital certificates up for sale on specialized platforms such as Binance, WiV and Farandole, and through the La Nouvelle Cave wine chain. “Last year we sold around twenty in two waves, which brought in 25,000 euros. »

A good portion of NFT shoppers do not seek to physically hold these bottles. They are investorsexplains Martin Cubertafond, consultant and lecturer at Sciences-po. They aim for a capital gain on resale. In the past, this eluded winemakers. With NFTs, that is no longer the case. When a producer links an NFT to his wine, he can support it with a “smart contract” which provides for a percentage share of the added value between him and the seller of the NFT. » According to the teacher, this is one of the main interests of NFTs.

To connect with consumers

“NFTs also allow brands to connect with their consumers,” adds Camilo Gomez Vargas. In 2022, on the occasion of the 770th vintage of Château Pape Clément, its owner Bernard Magrez created the Château Pape Clément Club. To join, you had to purchase an NFT. Amount: €310. “We closed the sale when we reached 1252 subscribers, a figure that corresponds to the year of the château’s first harvest”specifies the digital marketing manager.

The “pack” corresponding to this token includes a bottle and a virtual work created by the artist Pierre-Blaise Dionet. “And we will invite club members to prestigious events, open days, private tastings…continues Camilo Gomez Vargas. In January we invited them to the opening of the Soulages exhibition organized by our cultural institute. » The operation made it possible to get in touch with enthusiasts of these digital solutions. A public very different from the wine lover.

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