What is En Primeur?

En primeur, or wine futures, is a method for buying wine before it is bottled, usually at advantageous prices. Wines offered en primeur are often keenly sought and, after normal release, difficult to buy and become more expensive.

En Primeur wines are usually bought ‘in-bond’ and prices for the wines are quoted as such. When the wine is actually bottled and shipped to the UK (normally within 2 to 9 months from the en primeur offer), we store it in our temperature-controlled bonded warehouse until you are ready to pay the VAT and duty and receive the wines.

Note that the actual value of fine wine, like stocks and shares, could change between purchase and delivery, up or down.

What is buying ‘In-Bond’?

When wines are purchased “in bond” they are bought duty unpaid and exclusive of VAT. The wines must be stored in a ‘bonded warehouse’: a place approved by HM Customs & Excise that acts as a ‘duty free island’.

VAT and duty are only deferred and must be paid on release of goods. When you ask for your wine to be delivered, we then charge you for VAT and duty at the prevailing rate of the day it is released from bond. However, if you want to sell in on ‘in bond’ with no VAT/Duty paid, that can be arranged as well.

Duty is currently £32.06 per 12 bottles (11.5%-14.5% ABV) and VAT is 20%. We charge £0.60 (VAT incl) per 6 (or part thereof) bottles of each wine/vintage per month for storage after it arrives. However these rates may change, so please check with us.

Can you give me an example?

If you buy a case of 6 bottles of wine with 13.5% ABV at “£200 in bond”, you pay the £200 at the time of ordering.  Let’s say that three months later the stock arrives in the UK and four months after that you ask for it to be delivered.  At that stage you would be invoiced for:

  • £16.03 duty on 6 bottles
  • £43.21 in VAT (20% on the total cost of wine and duty – £216.03)
  • £2.40 (VAT incl) storage for the four months the wine lay in the bonded warehouse.

There may also be charges for insurance and delivery.

Why should I buy wine En Primeur?

Wines sold prior to shipping must be sold in bond. Storing in bond will enhance value as it gives some guarantee of provenance and storage conditions and, for exports, has no duty value included.

This and special offers that we make are intended to reflect, in our opinion, the cheapest way of ensuring that you get the wines you want.

Where do you store my wine?

Handford wines are stored (either duty paid or bonded) at London City Bond, Tilbury Docks, in a bespoke chamber that is temperature controlled to guarantee a level of no greater than 13 degrees Celsius.

Why buy en primeur through Handford Wines?

Handford buys only directly from growers or from established negociants (French wine merchants).

We are here to advise on wine investment. We are not a broking house but we do have access to rare wines that we recommend cellaring for the long term, 10 years or more. Our opinion is that people just starting in en primeur are best served by making a collection, often of wines they love, and cellaring for several years. Even better if they wish to, and can afford to, drink some of the wines. Indeed we prefer to offer our very best wines to clients who are supporting us through many years.