Tag Archives: shipping

Michel Rolland Wine in Siberia?

Michel Rolland wine in Irkutsk? What is this? A James Bond movie???

Actually, Irkutsk has long been known as “The Paris of Siberia”. Perhaps this is because Siberia was the place where writers, artists, and other intellectuals of earlier eras were sent into exile. Or perhaps it is because the exiled brought with them a taste for smuggled wine as well as vodka? In any case, Siberia is just the place for intrepid, wine-loving Globetrotters like Anja Cheriakova and Georges Jannsens to go searching for signs of wine. And guess what they have found!

Before I give you the link to their delightful World Wine Tour 2010 travelblogue let me fill you in on Anja and George’s story and that of the 5th annual World Wine Tour:

Anja, a young Belorussian woman from The Netherlands, and Georges, a young man from the United States are travelling the world’s wine countries on a charitable mission. At each stop or winery they hope to collect one wine bottle. Throughout the tour they will report on their adventures to their rapidly growing base of followers. All bottles collected will be shipped (thanks to JJ Hillebrand) to Napa, California where a charity auction will be held at Robert Mondavi Winery in 2011. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The funds raised by the auction in 2011 will go to help rebuild a school destroyed by massive flooding of the Mekong River in 2008.

Georges and Anja have written to me about how much their thoughts are with the people of Haiti right now. The funds raised by the World Wine Tour 2010 were already committed to the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation a year ago. Anja and Georges hope that the Globetrotters who embark on the World Wine Tour 2011 will choose a Haitian charity as the recipient of their philanthropic endeavors. In the meantime Anja and Georges ask their followers to donate to a reputable charity providing aid to Haiti.

Back to Michel Rolland and Irkutsk: Anja and Georges have just completed the Siberian leg of an exciting railway journey on the Trans-Siberia/Mongolia Express. I know you’ll enjoy reading about their discovery of fine wines in Siberia as much as I have. Here’s the link to Anja and George’s World Wine Tour Blog: http://www.worldwinetour2010.com. If you don’t find the post entitled “The Trans-Siberia/Mongolian Express: Unexpected Stories”, click on Archive and look for the story dated 12 January 2010.

To follow Anja and Georges on Twitter: AnjaCheriakova or @WorldWineTour
To Friend Anja and George and the World Wine Tour 2010 on Facebook, Search: “World Wine Tour 2010”

Jancis Robinson is one of the media sponsors of this year’s World Wine Tour. From time to time she’ll be reporting on Anja and Georges global “scavenger hunt” for fine wines. This post contains the Tour’s tentative schedule: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a201001053.html

Veronique Barretto, a student in the Masters of Wine Business Program at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, just “discovered” the World Wine Tour 2010. The February 3rd, 2010 post on her delightful blog, Vinously Speaking, offers brief bios of this years Globetrotters. You’ll also find links to French, Spanish, and even Dutch language translations of the Tour’s website: http://vinouslyspeaking.blogspot.com/

DISCLOSURE: I have the pleasure of volunteering from home for the World Wine Tour 2010 moderating the Tour’s Facebook page and writing some of it’s Tweets.

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Storage Tales of The City

If you’ve been following the Vinfolio fiasco over on Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board http://www.erobertparker/bboard.com then you know that some collectors either have pulled their wines from VF’s storage facilities, are planning to in the next week, or are contemplating doing so soon.  I’ve already made arrangements to have my wine picked up from Vinfolio at no cost by a third party and transported to its Bay Area wine storage facility.  Since I live in the Bay Area and know the “scene”, choosing alternative storage has been relatively painless.   What about the Vinfolio storage clients who live as far away as Hawaii, Massachusetts or abroad?  To help them I spent the day investigating Bay Area wine storage possibilities including interviewing owners and managers of several facilities.  I’ve selected just a few of these firms to highlight the diversity of services offered.  I’m not endorsing any particular outfit on this list nor is the absence of any facility meant to be a criticism of a given company.    

In no particular order: 

1) For secure, temperature-controlled storage at an affordable rate; full online access to your wine inventory, account history and downloadable reports;  ability to purchase wines at retail on the company’s website and store them for six months free; shipping in-state, out-of-state and out-of-country at no extra fee outside small cost of packing materials and UPS, FedEx, etc. charge; and opportunities to consign wine for auction through sister company, Wine Commune for a reasonable commission:


7305 Edgewater Dr. (Wine storage located in facility next door)

Suite D, Oakland, CA 94621

(51) 632-5500

Toll-free (888) 85-Wines (888-859-4637)

Contact: Cory 

N.B. Transfer wines from Vinfolio and receive free pickup from Vinfolio to JJ Buckley OR 3 months storage free.  Oh, and currently a 1500ml bottle of  ’06 Chateau Ausone is on sale on JJ Buckley’s website – $600 off! 

2) For secure, temperature- controlled self-storage and all brand-new facilities including a beautiful lounge and event spaces for clients’ private use; special storage member events, a “club-like” atmosphere; direct sales of boutique wines in a relaxed, “industrial-chic” setting; and an upcoming wine education program in a state-of-the-art, onsite classroom environment overseen by a Master Sommelier: 


757 Bryant Street

San Francisco, CA

(415) 272-4046

Contact: Brian 

N.B.  This is the only storage option where you can drop by and get hands-on with your wine collection, touching and “admiring” it and then, immediately after selecting a bottle, taking it to your table in the members’ lounge to share with friends and maybe other members before going out to dinner and/or a show in San Francisco.  (I should mention that some of the other Bay Area wine storage facilities will ship your wine to you in-state overnight, usually, but not always for a small fee in addition to  the UPS or FedEx cost).  Pickup from Vinfolio is free if you’re relocating a small collection to the San Francisco Wine Center.  For larger collections, the Wine Center will cover “a chunk of the charge.”

3) For secure, temperature controlled storage; Napa and Sonoma winery and hotel pickup of your wines; in-state and out-of-state shipment with no fees (other than what UPS or Fedex charges you); automatic weather tracking to make sure that your shipment doesn’t travel under inclement conditions; online cellar management software, selling/trading opportunities w/approx. 2,800 other clients including automatic updating of your inventory with no commission charged; assistance w/auctioning through Hong Kong, Acker Merrill, Zacky, etc.; the ability to purchase wines including new, “unknowns” (past examples include Robert Foley, Hundred Acre, Robert Sinskey): 


1210 Church St.

St. Helena, CA 94574

(707) 963 -5513

Contact: Neil or one of his very capable staff 

N.B.  55 Degrees stores all the wines and also handles proxy bidding for Napa charities.  The facility is attractive and located in the heart of Napa wine country, not in an out of the way warehouse district.  In other words it is a place you may want to visit when making your rounds through Northern Napa.  Call to  arrange pickup from Vinfolio and  check to see if any charge.  The lack of  “added-on” fees here is worthy of note and brings down the overall cost of storage here.

4) For secure, natural, underground storage with naturally-controlled temperature and humidity, immune to power outages, system breakdowns, or attendant negligence, and requiring no air-conditioning: 


Located in San Francisco’s Presidio just south of Rob Hill on the site of Stotsenburg and McKinnon batteries.

Tel: 415-221-4440

Contact: Paul 

N.B.  There are only a few 10-case units as of this writing.   No pickup from Vinfolio.  You need to arrange pickup and drop off yourself. 

5) For secure, underground storage with controlled temperature and humidity and all brand-new facilities: 

STORAGE SAN FRANCISCO LLC (sister company to Presidio Bunkers)

435 23rd Street

San Francisco, CA

(415) 314-7675

Contact: Christo


(415) 221-4440

Contact: Paul 

N.B.  They are brand new and open as of next week to accepting shipments from Vinfolio.  No pickup from Vinfolio.  Call and they can help you arrange for pickup with a local company at your expense.

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© Alexandra Alznauer, CS and Wine Watcher, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alexandra Alznauer, CA and Wine Watcher with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.