Once you have purchased your wines, Capital Vintners can provide storage in a government bonded warehouse so that your wine collection can mature in perfect conditions. The bonded warehouse we use is Locke King and is housed in one of the UK’s largest surviving underground air raid shelters of WW2 at Brooklands, Weybridge in Surrey. It is run by EHD London No.1 Bond Ltd.- a highly experienced wine warehouse and distribution company- and is the perfect underground vault for professional, secure, fully insured storage. It has the added benefit of being within 40 minutes of Central London.
Our storage costs are £15 per 12x75cl case per year + VAT
Both the site and the shelter share a fascinating and distinguished provenance. Brooklands was built by landowner Sir Hugh Fortescue Locke-King on his Weybridge estate. As the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit (and then airfield), Brooklands shaped motor sport. But when war broke out in September 1939, the entire Brooklands site was given over to the Vickers- Armstrongs and Hawker aircraft companies to develop and build military aircraft. With the need to protect some 5000 aviation construction staff, a vast air raid shelter was excavated and cast. Concrete-lined, a labyrinth of 2m high by 1m wide corridors became the site’s underground retreat for the staff, complete with gas tight doors, air filtration equipment and water supply. At the end of the war, still in their original condition, the shelters were secured, and have lain dormant for over sixty years. When EHD’s joint Managing Directors Michael and Stuart Phelps had the opportunity to acquire the site in August 2009, they knew immediately it was the perfect storage facility.
The Ultimate Storage Environment
Explains Michael: “We’ve been looking for some time for the right premises for long term storage. We were adamant it had to be underground; the constant temperature, ability to control humidity and added security of subterranean vaults is something we knew our clients wanted. After monitoring conditions for over a year in the shelter, we know it’s ideal. The only other fine wine storage operations currently in the UK are either ambient storage above ground, situated several hours away from London or, frankly, very unrealistically priced.
At the heart of the Locke-Vaults’ concept is a world- class fine wines team. The new operation will be coordinated and administered by EHD’s current staff from the company’s main offices and warehouse already on the Brooklands estate. EHD currently stores in excess of 268,000 cases on behalf of over 300 clients. Customers include fine wine merchants, major auction houses, premier brands, retailers, media celebrities and private individuals. Capital Vintners are now our third biggest account holder. Business growth has doubled the company’s capacity in just two years.
The ‘Sommelier Touch’
The service element is crucial to Locke-King’s customer proposition. Stuart Phelps explains: “Fine wine is a delicate, inherently fragile and very valuable commodity.” Our existing logistics team is probably one of the most experienced in Europe when it comes to moving and re-siting collections or auction purchases. In particular, we transport and handle our clients wine investments as a sommelier would.
Committed to a Better Service
Michael Phelps is convinced his team offers the winning fine wines storage package; “It’s a natural extension of our existing business”, he says. “If clients have cases at other bonded warehouses, we can easily arrange pick- up to consolidate collections. There’s no risk whatsoever – just the opportunity to get a better, more professional service with a great annual storage deal. All wines cellared at Locke-King are automatically insured against “all risks” at full replacement value.”