June 29, 2022

Interview: Selim Bocti, Cofounder of Vintage Cellar

A.M.A Selections is proud to announce it’s collaboration with Vintage Cellar, an exclusive invitation-only platform …

By A.M.A Selections

French Riviera

France

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Selim Bocti | Photo Source: Vintage Cellar

A.M.A Selections is proud to announce it’s collaboration with Vintage Cellar, an exclusive invitation-only platform selling some of the world’s most sought after wines and spirits. This partnership allows for A.M.A Selections guests to order a curated selection of premium wines and spirits delivered directly to their holiday villa to enjoy throughout their stay. In honor of this collaboration, we sat down with Selim Bocti, cofounder of Vintage Cellar, to find out more about his journey in the world of fine wines and his company.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey. How did you discover your passion for wine & spirits?


I developed a keen interest for fine wine at a young age when I was put in charge of running our family business that has been specializing in fine wine & luxury spirits imports and retail. The beautiful journey in the world of fine wines took me to extensive tasting trips to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, and other prime regions where I had the chance to taste exceptional cuvées in the presence of iconic Chateaux owners and wine makers. The experience was truly exceptional and throughout the years, I cherished those key and sincere relationships developed around the passion for fine wines.


The pleasure of being accommodated at the Estates, tasting unique vintages and experiencing behind-the-scene stories with those who make the finest wines was really unforgettable. I think that was the real genesis of the Vintage Cellar project that I co-founded with my father Gabriel Bocti and Georges Chalhoub, a close friend to the family and fine wine enthusiast!

Photo Source: Vintage Cellar

Why did you decide to launch Vintage Cellar? What does the company offer to clients?

When we co-launched Vintage Cellar App in 2020 with my father Gabriel and Georges, a long-time friend and grand collector, we set out to build a best-in-class platform backed by a team of wine professionals and sommeliers, that would be well-prepared to provide a concierge-style service for a selected community of members. This by-invitation platform would address the needs of high-net-worth-individuals spread across the globe and looking to join the fine wine journey either for their personal consumption or long-term investments in context of collections. 

Through Vintage Cellar, one will be able to discover and collect some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after wines, to be a part of a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and to enjoy the skills of one’s own sommelier and regular expert updates on new vintages of wine from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and Italy, along with all sorts of original and exclusive content. It is a one stop shop for those who wish to build a wine portfolio, while activity enjoying the sensorial and social aspects of an ultra-exclusive club of wine enthusiasts.


The all-inclusive, bespoke app was born from the vision of becoming the prism through which the wants and needs of fine wine lovers are fulfilled. Going beyond curating rare and exclusive wines, at the heart of Vintage Cellar’s model lies a comprehensive set of services that answer to every members needs pertaining to reliable storage, cellar management and asset valuation.

What do you enjoy most about your company?

Wine is special; it is not like any other commodity. It provides an emotional and physical experience. We all remember that first bottle that made us fall in love with wine, and that is why being able to create a community of wine lovers has been a dream of mine.


At the very core of Vintage Cellar is the development of a close-knit community of fine wine lovers and collectors. Our company prides itself on bringing the human connection back to wine investment by offering state-of-the-art technological tools to address the individual needs of the community. The app relies heavily on personalisation and human-to-human connection and building a community which I particularly cherish.

Exclusive wine app
Photo Source: Vintage Cellar


How do you source your wines and spirits? Do you provide a different selection of wines according to season?


In our model, we pay high attention to the provenance criteria as we buy from trusted sources like maisons de négoce, direct domains or established houses like Moet Hennessy. We are very meticulous when it comes to choosing our suppliers as we guarantee the pristine condition and origin of the bottles.

Specially curated parcels of claret and burgundy, selected from each en primeur campaign will be made available to Vintage Cellar members each year, covering a wide range of investment possibilities from the finest and most exclusive wines to village level value choices from the finest Châteaux in France.


Can you tell us a bit more about the sommelier service and what it entails?

The bespoke sommelier or wine advisor is the heart and soul of our project. Although Vintage Cellar operates over a digital APP format, we wanted to maintain the “human” connection in our approach.


That’s why our team adapts to the client’ needs and preferences by engaging with them on a personal basis either through the App, by email, phone call or even WhatsApp. Our sommelier’s are personal wine assistants, a key component in the Vintage Cellar
experience.

Photo Source: A.M.A Selections


Where can you deliver? How far in advance should people purchase to have the bottles delivered in time?


We deliver almost anywhere in the world through our specialized logistics partners, selected for their wine expertise. To have bottles delivered just in time, the sommelier plays a key role to arrange everything door-to-door.


The destination is certainly a major factor that impacts the timeline of delivery. My advice is always to give extra time to avoid any unforeseen delays, especially during summer time.

How do you feel your company competes with other high-end retailers selling fine wines & spirits?


Our team is made of passionate people, all experts in their own field. The all-inclusive solution brought by Vintage Cellar is a unique model that includes access to the finest wines, cellar management tools, logistics options and storage, wine investment plans and also the personal sommelier to be used at anytime creates a winning formula for an optimal fine wine buying experience.

How did the idea of launching this collaboration between Vintage Cellar with A.M.A. Selections begin?


It all started when I booked a chalet for my family holiday at A.M.A. Selections in Megève this winter. I wanted to pre-order my bottles ahead so they were available upon arrival, however, this was not among the proposed service at that time. So I thought why don’t we develop a partnership whereby Vintage Cellar supplies A.M.A Selections villas with a vibrant list of wine and spirits including all bottles that people enjoy under the sun! So my team got in touch with A.M.A Selections management and after the first meeting, we both decided to partner to extend the great customer experience!


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