I had a very interesting visit this morning with Pierre Antoine Casteja of the negociant company Joanne this morning. It was the first time that I had visited their offices, in Fargues St Hilaire just outside of Bordeaux (a very nice gourmet village on the outskirts of Entre deux Mers) with one of the best poissoneries in the Gironde) - and also the first time I had properly met the owner, although we happened to be sitting next to each other during the recent Masseto tasting at Vinexpo and it turned out that we both had a shared love of all things Japanese.
I was there to look at this new bonded warehouse, to be called Provenance in Bond (not Chateaux Bond as they had previously thought). Joanne are one of the investors in Bordeaux City Bond that I have written about recently, but have also decided to set up their own version. They already had extensive warehouse facilities at their offices, so clearly decided that they would be missing a trick if they didn't make the most of them.
The warehouse for the new project is 3,500m2, has three different systems of security, and like Bordeaux City Bond will cost 6 euros per case per annum to store wine, plus insurance. The thing that seems most attractive is that all wine will be insured at the price on the Place de Bordeaux, which is always pretty much the best highest price worldwide for older wines, and therefore very attractive for anyone storing their wine there.
The fact that there are now two very good alternatives for storing wine tax-free in Bordeaux (with surely plenty more on the way), will I feel sure change the dynamics of Bordeaux, and make it less of an archaic place for purely trading en primeur wines. In theory, it should make it a viable world-wide centre now for not only trading but storing and therefore re-selling wines over a longer period of time. And in a bonded warehouse where wine gets delivered with perfect traceability straight from the chateau, with no carbon footprint. So good to finally have an example of Bordeaux acting in a commercially-minded, modern manner!!