Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Determine the Value of Your Wine Crates

Clients often ask me if I can help them value their wine crates. They may find one at an estate sale or have a few from decades back. Since wine crates are limited, they want to know if they have something good!

Since all wine crates are different, the only way to appraise them is through Collector or Decorative value. It then comes down to condition.

Collector Value (High, Medium & Fair)

Determined by investors in the wine itself. A case of high-value wine complete with it's original wine crate can increase profits by 10% - 15% at auction. Wine crates are also great for rare wine storage because:

1. They protect the bottles from breakage
2. Keep the bottles in darkness
3. Maintain a stable temperature
4. Indicates good provenance

The 2 levels of Collector value are based on a 5 year average. These are past estimates which don't guarantee future results.

*All values depend on vintage, condition and whether the lid is included: 

High Level and Rare Collector Value ($50 - $150)

Domaine Romanee Conti

Chateau Petrus

The First Growths of Bordeaux

Top Napa cults (Screaming Eagle, Schrader etc.)

Mid-Level Collector Value ($20 - $50):

2nd -5th Growths

Second labels

Grand Cru Burgundy

Super Tuscan

Exceptional Champagne (Dom Perignon, Krug etc.)

High-end South American, Mediterranean or Australian vineyards

Decorative Value (High, Medium & Vintage)

Some wine crates don't have investor value but do have a decorative one.

If a crate isn't decorative, and has no investor value, it can have a Fair Decorative Value (Roughly $10 - $20) depending on where you sell it (Yard sale vs. online) You can get an idea on decorative value by:

1. Checking Google to see if the wine itself is popular.

2. Looking at it. Does it have ornate pictures on it? Would it look nice as a home accent?

3. Condition: Are all four sides and bottom undamaged? Small chips are ok, but big missing pieces are bad.

Decorative value is subjective. We all love art but everyone has different tastes. That's why there's 3 categories:

High Level Decorative Value ($35 - $75):

Artwork pictures that are highly detailed

Logos on all 4 sides and lid

Made of exotic wood such as cherry, oak or Mahogany

Medium ($25 - $50):

Logo in fancy script lettering but no picture/artwork

Has something unique like a staining or finish

Is a special release

Vintage ($10 - $50):

The vintage look is abstract. Some like it, some don't. Few may love it! Some of the more popular vintage styles are below:

Rough shape (Seconds). Usually damaged and not 100% durable. Has some patina. Accents a cottage-chic setting.

Very weathered but durable. When wine crates are exposed to the elements for a while they change color. This change is known to add vintage character.

Older crates that are 30+ years old can have a barnwood look. They've been used in many projects and have alot of patina. They inspire conversation in a fresh and organic country setting.

* Be careful when dismantling vintage crates. Nails can rust so wear heavy gloves to protect yourself.

It's possible to have a high value wine crate in vintage condition. To the right collector it's a gem! Look at this vintage-style bar made with exclusive wine crates:

The crates above have heavy patina but are from the best wineries in France. Some date back 50+ years. The wine once in them would be worth a fortune today!

Have any questions? Give me a call or shoot over an e-mail with pictures. I'll do my best to help.

Patrick O'caining-Villi

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