Viniv is the brainchild of former industrial minerals and technology entrepreneur Stephen Bolger, who moved into wine looking for something “more aligned with my interests”.
The company lets consumers make their own barrels of top-end Bordeaux wine, from choosing vineyard parcels through to blending wines and designing labels.
Most of Viniv’s customers are private individuals, although a growing number of companies are using the process as a team-building exercise.
Some clients go on to sell the wines they make – including Philippines fine wine retailer Wine Story.
“They can participate as much or as little as they want in the process,” Bolger told OLN. “They can be akin to the owner of a chateau who is also a financial manager in London and lets his team do all the work, and is just there to finalise the blend – or they can be like the owner who lives in the middle of the parcel in Bordeaux and is part of every step of the process.”
Viniv has parcels in a number of prestigious Bordeaux appellations, including Pauillac, Saint-Emilion and Graves, and is co-owned by the chief executive of Château Lynch-Bages, Jean-Charles Cazes.
Bolger said the team-up with Berry Bros & Rudd will give Viniv access to a much wider customer base, and give consumers the reassurance of dealing with a well-established company.
The deal also means Viniv can use BBR’s facilities to allow clients to finalise their blends in London, if they can’t make it to Bordeaux.
He said: “For us to have an organisation like BBR who service fine wine clients, who for the most part are all wine lovers, gives us a whole different access to potential amateur winemakers that would want to make a wine with us.”
“The chance to make your own fine wine is a remarkable way to develop your appreciation and understanding of one of life’s greatest pleasures,” said BBR Bordeaux buyer Max Lalondrelle. “Whether you’re sharing a barrel with some friends, looking to promote your company by creating a unique gift, or satisfying a long-time dream, Viniv offers a truly unique experience.”
Prices start from £6,900 for a barrel, which makes 288 bottles, and include production, fruit, winemaking materials including barrels, label design and packaging. The experience also includes the introductory session, vineyard selection tasting and the final blending session that takes place before bottling.