Wine storage - United Kingdom

The below information was compiled in June 2014 and reviewed in January 2021. We welcome any updates or corrections via the contact form.

The following is an updated version of the UK part of an international survey of professional wine storage services which was first published in 2003. Unless otherwise stated, rates are for a conventional case of a dozen bottles of wine per year. No one has increased them outrageously. (Bear in mind that Smith & Taylor offer a very different tailor-made service from anyone else, involving lockers of specific sizes and lots of personal add-ons, so is not directly comparable.) 

You can see that online access has become much more the norm, that relative newcomer Fine+Rare looks determined to provide some competition to the establishment, The Wine Society still offers very good prices if only for wines bought through the Society (a marked tendency in most merchants, mind you) and that overall Seckford still offers the best value in their Suffolk warehouse. 

All prices quoted include VAT.

Storage details Rate per case Insurance Free Delivery Online

Arc Reserves

+44 (0) 1223 849045

From £9.00 Yes No Yes

Armit

A dedicated, professional operation, taken over in 2008 by a Dutch company, taken very seriously with good experience of shipping internationally. Storage charges, unusually, by the litre rather than the case but prices shown below are the 12 bottle case equivalent. £15 flat delivery charge to mainland UK addresses for 5 cases or less. They also offer a client wine-broking service, valuations and suggested drinking dates. Very user-friendly but not cheap, hence the introduction of the Vinothèque option at the beginning of 2010.Willing to store wine bought from other merchants and also able to insure mixed cases for £9 (+ VAT) per case. Receipt, handling and labelling charges apply. Very good individual feedback on wine collections, both value and maturity.

Contact: clients@armitwines.co.uk

44 (0)20 7908 0600

From £11.43 Yes No Yes

Atlas Fine Wines

+44 (0)20 3017 2299

from £13.08 Yes No Yes

Averys Wine Merchants

Currently store over 10,000 cases for their customers in their Gloucester warehouse. Both duty-paid and bonded storage are available. Unmixed 12-bottle cases only.

+44 (0)333 0148208

£12.60 Yes No No

Berry Bros. & Rudd

Have recently expanded their warehouse facilities in Basingstoke with temperature controlled at 10-12°C and 75% relative humidity. Reasonably but not brilliantly useful stock reports. They do give maturity guidance on individual wines although it may sometimes be better to look up individual wines on their website. Online account management includes a valuation service linked to Liv-ex and the ability to bid for wines stored by other BBR accountholders and offered for sale via their BBX broking service.
The minimum annual charge for storing wine with Berry Bros. & Rudd is £41.40. This amount can be used to cover rent for the first three 12-bottle cases (or equivalent) that customers have in their Private Reserve, including any under beneficial ownership.

+44 (0)20 7022 8973

£13.80 Yes No Yes

Big Yellow Self Storage Company

Based in what used to be the Fulham power station (classy looking, I am informed, and not yellow). The wine storage is two stories underground in fully climate-controlled conditions maintained at 10 to 13°C and at 50-70% humidity. Customers rent out private self-contained units – BYO racking, although they are working with a company to sell pre-racked units at a small premium) and pay weekly, monthly or annually. The smallest unit is 3 sq ft and stores 15 cases (12 x75cl) with a discount if paying annually in advance. The largest unit is 300 sq ft (about 500 cases, I worked out). Customers have full access to their wine seven days' a week from 5am to 11pm. The gated car park has PIN-code entry and security guards, and customers will use their personal PIN another three times before they can enter their own storage space. The dedicated wine manager receives deliveries from wine merchants or international shippers and will keep wine in the underground holding room until customers are able to get there and rack it away. Big Yellow is also able to provide automatically generated storage-condition reports detailing temperature changes, humidity, date of entry etc for customers wishing to sell their wines on. They have a specially designed tasting room, and welcome customers and wine merchants to use it for events and tastings.

+44 (0) 20 7736 5020

- No No No

Bordeaux Index

Competitive rates and no extra charge for wine bought from other merchants. They'll store your wine even if you have never bought from them. Average storage temperature at Colerne is 13ºC with 80% humidity. Reduced rate for 6-bottle cases (£5.26). Customers are invoiced twice a year and receive information on drinking dates and investment potential, plus Robert Parker scores – also available on request at other times, free of charge. There's a minimum charge of six months.

+44 (0)20 7269 0703

£10.50 Yes No Yes

Corney & Barrow

Storage is charged by 'unit' of 6x75cl bottles or equivalent, and rates improve the larger your cellar. An upgraded web reserves platform now offers tasting notes, drinking ranges, producer profiles and Liv-ex valuations. Storage is charged in arrears in June and there is no charge for receiving wines bought elsewhere.
To register, email register@corneyandbarrow.com with your account number.

+44 (0)20 7265 2400

From £7.06/six months Yes Yes Yes

Davy's Wine Merchants

+44 (0)20 8858 9147

£10.95 Yes No No

Farr Vintners

In 2019 Farr, once Octavian’s biggest customer, moved to LCB’s new ex aircraft hangars in Melksham, also in Wiltshire, in an attempt to offer a more flexible delivery service. There are admin charges for such things as change of ownership and few frills but you can store both in bond and duty paid and Farr's logistics staff seem particularly on the ball. This is a no-frills service without specific advice on when to drink particular wines. Three months' free storage for wines bought through them.

+44 (0)20 7821 2000

£10.50 Yes No Yes

Fine+Rare

F+R tells me that 'The Chamber is FINE+RARE’s storage solution, based within London City Bond, Tilbury. The Chamber is a self-contained, secure, solid-walled 'chamber' sitting within the LCB warehouse with its own dedicated cellar team. This facility has been on offer since October 2009 providing a complete storage solution charging pro rata, accepting cases, bottles, bonded and duty paid wines as well as wines bought from other merchants. There is no minimum fee and the storage charging period runs from 1 Apr to 31 Mar.

+44 (0)20 7089 7400

£10.08 ex VAT Yes No Yes

Handford Wines

Handford store their wines in bond at LCB Tilbury with their own cooling/humidity controls in their chamber. Delivery costs £15 but wines can be collected from their South Kensington shop free of charge. Handford charge in arrears and only for the time the case has actually spent in storage – so where other storage facilities charge up front and for the entire year even when the case is removed partway through, Handford only charges for the actual time stored.

+44 (0)20 7589 6113

£10.80 ex VAT Yes No No

Justerini & Brooks

Operates under the name of a subsidiary company, Cellarers (Wines) Ltd. Wines purchased from suppliers other than Justerini & Brooks may be stored and they only charge a small one-off admin fee of £4.27 (+ VAT) per case. They offer bonded and duty-paid storage. This is the safe-as-houses fine wine subsidiary of Diageo. Customers are invoiced in arrears and pro-rata in June. Delivery is charged at £15. The website gives access to view your reserves, get a valuation and place for sale 'broking wines'. Each year clients receive a statement of their wines, listing their holdings by region, as well as a vintage guide offering general advice as to whether to drink or keep. Clients are also encouraged to contact Justerini's for more specific and personal advice on their stored wines if they require it.

+44 (0)20 7484 6430

£10.80 Yes No Yes

Laithwaite's

Offer customer storage (shared with their sister company Avery's) in Gloucester, for unmixed 12-bottle cases only. The humidity is kept at 65% and the temperature within a 1°C range of 13°C. Only cases purchased from Laithwaite's Wine or the Sunday Times Wine Club can be stored, with all cases being insured to replacement value. Cases can be stored in-bond or duty-paid and a broking service is offered for those customers who wish to dispose of their wines at any point. UK delivery £7.99 per consignment.

+44 (0)3330 148 202

£12.60 Yes No No

Lay & Wheeler

Family-owned Colchester wine merchant with over 30 years' experience of storing fine wines which was acquired by the Majestic wine warehouse chain in 2009, so stored wines can be delivered to any Majestic store upon request. At one stage they owned the Vinothèque bonded warehouse but sold it to LCB, though their customers' wines are still stored there. They provide quarterly market valuations and a regular review of drinking dates. No minimum charge or portfolio fee. Wines purchased elsewhere can be stored without additional admin charges.

+44 (0)1473 313 233

£15 (£11.51 if paying by direct debit) - incl. VAT Yes No Yes

LCB

LCB is the UK's largest wine logistics operator with a stock holding approaching 10 million cases, an in-house national distribution fleet of over 300 vehicles and sites throughout the UK with specialised temperature- and humidity-controlled facilities free from vibration, UV and daylight. They also represent the industry on the HMRC liaison committee, attempting to thrash out many Brexit-related problems, and are the only wine storage provider within the Large Business Service of HMRC.

LCB caters for both private and trade customers with facilities for long-term storage and faster moving products. Sites are protected with intruder alarms, CCTV and manned 24/7 365 days per year. Wines may be held either under bond or duty paid. Investors manage their own insurance direct with underwriters through brokers operating a simple and flexible scheme designed for LCB. Valuations are offered via an arrangement with Liv-ex.

LCB charges private customers by the bottle, as they believe this is the fairest system. The annual charge for 2021 is £0.96 + VAT per bottle equivalent to £11.52 + VAT per case of 12 bottles or £5.76 + VAT per case of six bottles. Charges are levied on 1 January and for subsequent receipts during the year charged pro rata for the part of the year remaining. No credit is given for wine withdrawn during the year. There is a minimum charge levied on 1 January of £75.00 + VAT.

+ 44 (0) 203 500 8525

£11.52 ex VAT Yes No Yes

LCB Dinton

In the heart of the English countryside, hidden within 45 hectares of secluded woodland are 15 reinforced concrete vaults surrounded by high security perimeter fence. Excavated from the hillside, the underground chambers vary in size from 300 square metres to 600 square metres. Recently refurbished to the highest standards but having stood the test of time for 70 years, they offer the optimum conditions for the maturation of fine investment wine. Individual units could be allocated and designed for the larger investor.

+44 (0)203 500 8525

See main LCB entry No No Yes

LCB Melksham

A former Ministry of Defence site in Wiltshire. Four original aircraft hangars each of 2,400 square metres. During 2018 these were completely refurbished including new roofs and cladding and insulation. Climate control including both temperature and humidity control was installed together with a security perimeter fence. A fifth adjacent hangar acts as LCB’s West Country distribution hub.

+ 44 (0) 203 500 8525

See main LCB entry No No Yes

LCB Vinothèque

Described by Mitsubishi as having the most sophisticated climate control of any warehouse in Europe. The warehouse itself is constructed with metre thick walls and 20,000 square metres of floor space with purpose-built photo booths for condition reports carried out by staff qualified through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Humidity and temperature are computer-controlled with temperature maintained at a constant 13 +/- 1 Celsius.

+44 (0)203 500 8525

See main LCB entry No No Yes

Locke-King Vaults

EHD is the fine wine storage facility of the approved bonded warehouse EHD London No 1 Bond, established by brothers Michael and Stuart Phelps in 2000. The Vaults are located 30 minutes from Central London in a series of 17 interconnecting underground tunnels, formerly Second World War air-raid shelters. The operation is managed by a dedicated fine wine team and benefits from the resources of the main EHD offices and warehouse on the Brooklands site which currently stores in excess of 400,000 cases in above-ground conditions. Locke-King provide constant temperatures of 12 °C and a humidity range of 60-70%. Rates are applied annually from 1 Jan with fees per month charged before then. Exact rates vary according to the quantity and value of cases, dropping to £12 (inc VAT) if between 101-200 cases are stored. Comprehensive conditioning reports are available upon request and the company also offers a national and international delivery service.

+44 (0) 1932 334300

£15.55 Yes No Yes

Nexus

Founded by Mark Bevan (ex Armit), Nexus makes it much easier for those who buy their wines from more than one merchant but want to store it all in one place and have one source of information on their wines – including the option of tracking the wine's progress from the producer to the bonded warehouse. You just give Nexus the details of your purchase and they liaise with the merchant. There is a receiving charge per case which is reduced if you are buying wine from one of a number of 'affiliated' companies – currently Haynes Hanson & Clark, HS Liquid Assets, Clarion Wines, MARC Fine Wines and Oliver Wines but the list is likely to grow. There is a joining fee for initial deposits of less than 50 cases but the more cases you store with them the cheaper the annual fee. Merchants' assessments of maturity etc are passed on via Nexus, though they can provide independent information for a small fee. There's plenty of flexibility in terms of delivery, if you are willing to pay a little more. They are unique (they say) in offering a pro-rata credit for rental already paid when withdrawing the stock.

+44 (0)1672 513028

POA Yes No Yes

Octavian

Hyper-efficient, particularly good at the nitpicking detail required by H M Customs & Excise but for private individuals the paperwork is cumbersome and the fees are very high. You are charged at every turn and there's the same initial fee to set up an account whether you have one or five cases. However, their service includes insurance of up to £500m, which they say is the highest in the sector.

Since this is basically a disused limestone quarry, anyone visiting the cellars has to wear special equipment. (See long article about Octavian.) The place is certainly very secure and expandable (the size of 18 football pitches in total, I think). Temperature (constant 13 °C) and humidity are computer controlled. You can store in bond or duty paid and Octavian offer next-day delivery within the M25 as well as collection from any location in the UK. Free valuations and drinking dates on request. However, it's cheaper and easier to store with a merchant who uses Octavian, the most bureaucratic of the warehouses.

There is a minimum annual charge of £100.

In May 2020 Octavian introduced an online trading platform so that private customers can trade wine between themselves, leaving the wine to mature in peace.

+44 (0)1225 810735

£19.80 (1-30 cases), £18.74 (31-99 cases), £17.31 (100+ cases), minimum £100 a year Yes No Yes

Private Cellar

+44 (0)1353 721 999

£11.50 ex VAT Yes No Yes

Private Reserves

+44 (0)1604 743 916

£13.80 (incl VAT) or £6.90 (incl VAT) for a case of 6 Yes No Yes

Richard Kihl

Fine wine merchant and broker offering storage in-bond or duty paid.
Deliveries to one address London & Home Counties Minimum charge 1-8 cases. £17.50 per delivery + VAT.  

+44 (0)1728 454455

£10.30 per case + VAT payable in advance No No No

Seckford Wines

+44 (0)1394 446617

£9.54 inc VAT Yes No Yes

Smith + Taylor

Very personal service for duty-paid reserves on the American locker model. They offer volumes of 8, 15, 30 or 60 cases. In-bond storage is offered courtesy of Brandfords in Manchester and duty-paid storage is at Chelsea Bridge in London. Their six-monthly reports come in unparalleled detail on extremely thick paper, detailing exactly from whom the wine was bought and its drinking status as appraised by a Master of Wine. Owner Sebastian Riley-Smith is particularly proud of sealing all wooden cases with a steel band, and of labelling each with the name of the owner. I had visions of this being a little winey nest in Battersea which Sloanes could raid in the middle of a dinner party but it is open only 9-5, Monday to Friday. But if you want a long talk about wine while picking some up, this is your place. I'm told they do not have a set charge for their bespoke storage service as it varies according to the size of the consignment, term in store, value of the bottles in question, number of lines within a case, number of withdrawals each year and how the wine is packed. They do not, however, charge for receiving, processing or delivering wines from their Chelsea Bridge cellars and rates quoted privately include insurance. They also design and build beautiful made-to-measure hardwood wine storage in private homes. And they even offer 'Nursery' cellarage for that one case awaiting its owner's coming of age.

+44 (0)20 7627 5070

POA Yes No No

The Wine Society

This wine-buying cooperative offers some of the best value and is certainly wine-minded but you have to be a member and the wines have to have been bought from them. However they do deliver for free in the UK, you can store mixed dozens, and there is no minimum charge – the latter an unusual advantage particularly for those just starting to build up their collection of fine wine. They also allow mixed withdrawals from your portfolio such that you can request delivery of a 12-bottle case made up of three bottles each of four different wines. Constant average temperature of 13°C, humidity 65%. Storage is offered duty paid and in bond. Suggested drinking dates for individual wines provided annually and on request.

+44 (0)1438 741177

£9.24 Yes No No

The Wine Tunnels

+44(0)203 900 3993

£13.00 Yes No No

Uncorked

+44 (0)20 7638 5998

£13.80 ex VAT Yes No Yes

Vine

+44 (0) 20 7062 8789

POA Yes No Yes