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
Toll-free (888) 85-Wines (888-859-4637)
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:
SAN FRANCISCO WINE CENTER
757 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA
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:
PRESIDIO WINE BUNKERS
Located in San Francisco’s Presidio just south of Rob Hill on the site of Stotsenburg and McKinnon batteries.
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
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.
© 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.