Wine Loans

About Wine Loans

Lending secured against fine wine

Bordeaux Cellars have been brokering loans secured against investment grade wine since 2011.
We have arranged over 600 loans for more than 300 clients and currently work with a pool of around 100 lenders.

The Opportunity


Owners of investment grade fine wine use it as security to raise a non-status short-term loan (364 days) at 15% pa plus a 1% facility fee.


Earns between 9–12% pa (see table below) by lending against that wine as security, at 35% LTV

Bordeaux Cellars' Expertise

Fine wine prices are now widely quoted (Liv-ex, Wine Owners index, BBX etc.).

However, verifying the provenance and authenticity of fine wine requires considerable expertise.

Bordeaux Cellars:

  • Are specialists in appraising investment grade wine.
  • Have extensive industry contacts.
  • Are members of, the pre-eminent source of information on combatting wine fraud and counterfeiting.
Loans from Loans up to Rate per annum
£75,000 £99,000 9%
£100,000 £249,000 10%
£250,000 £499,000 11%
£500,000 12%
The rates quoted above refer to the ranges in sterling or the equivalents in other currencies at the exchange rates prevailing at the time the loan is arranged.

Chattel Mortgage

Mortgage: noun English, a mortgage on a moveable item of property

All loans brokered by Bordeaux Cellars are structured as chattel mortgages.

A chattel mortgage is a mortgage over moveable property (rather than real property/real estate). Chattel mortgages in England and Wales are a form of security interest (or “collateral”) for lenders.

To give effective security the chattel mortgage must be in the statutory form prescribed by the Bills of Sale Act 1878 and the Bills of Sale Act (1878) Amendment Act 1882.

Unlike a mortgage over real property a chattel mortgage is not a lien over the property provided as security. In a traditional mortgage, the lender may take possession of the property that serves as security if the loan is in default. With a chattel mortgage, the legal relationship is reversed. Instead ownership of that property passes to the lender for the term of the mortgage.

The transfer of ownership is conditional and gives the lender the powers (and responsibilities) set out in the mortgage deed. Once the mortgage (loan) is repaid the borrower resumes full control and ownership of the chattels.

All loans arranged by Bordeaux Cellars are by a Loan Agreement and Chattel Mortgage Deed Over Wine. These are registered with the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London and fully comply with the Bills of Sale legislation.

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All loans arranged by Bordeaux Cellars are by a Loan Agreement and Chattel Mortgage Deed Over Wine. These are registered with the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London and fully comply with the Bills of Sale legislation.

The Participants

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The Typical Borrower

  • Asset rich; cash poor
  • A business owner who requires immediate access to finance
  • Is unable to raise sufficient funds through banks
  • May have inherited or built up a wine cellar over many years
  • Is reluctant to sell for sentimental reasons
  • Is based in the UK, USA or Western Europe

Bordeaux Cellars

A service intermediary

  • Established in 2007
  • Experts in investment grade fine wines
  • World leaders in wine backed lending
  • Have access to established pools of lenders and borrowers
  • Ensure provenance and provide appraisals and valuations
  • Carry out all due diligence and prepare all paperwork
  • Act as a matchmaker, earning a fee and interest in the process
  • Act as custodian of the wine to protect the interests of lenders and borrowers
  • Receive and make all payments through our client account
  • Arrange secure storage and insurance

Bordeaux Cellars

Not a financial intermediary

  • Are wine and loan brokers
  • Do not provide financial or tax advice
  • Will monitor the value of the security
  • Will serve default notices and sell wine to allow repayment of the loan in the event of a default

The Typical Lender

  • A high net worth investor
  • Looking for reliable returns of up to 12% per annum
  • May be a wine collector
  • Understands wine as an asset class
  • Is looking to diversify into alternative asset classes

The Process

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1. The Lending Pool

  • Bordeaux Cellars has established a pool of potential Lenders
  • Lenders indicate the amount and currency in which they wish to lend
  • We carry out due diligence on each potential Lender: Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks (proof of ID, address and source of funds)

2. The Wine – appraisal and valuation

  • Bordeaux Cellars are approached by potential Borrowers
  • We obtain a stock list of the wine offered as security and prepare a valuation based on the Wine Owners index
  • At this stage around 25% of loans are rejected
  • If Bordeaux Cellars consider the wine suitable and the Borrower accepts the valuation we carry out an on-site, physical inspection and appraise the wine as the first step in verifying its quality (by checking colour and levels, labels, the capsule and cork)
  • We also check the current storage conditions and obtain details of the past storage arrangements

3. The Wine – provenance

  • We then discuss the provenance of the wine with the Borrower and review any supporting documents
  • The wine is then catalogued and appraised in more detail including where appropriate verifying the documents with trade contacts as the final step to satisfy ourselves that the wine offers good security

4. Matching Lender and Borrower

  • We then offer the loan to a Lender whose lending criteria match the Borrower’s required loan e.g. £100,000 or US$500,000
  • The Lender is sent a Loan Broker Agreement and a copy of the Chattel Mortgage
  • The Lender completes and returns copies of the Loan Broker Agreement and the Chattel Mortgage

5. Loan offer

  • The Borrower is sent a Facility Letter setting out the terms on which the loan is offered, and a copy of the Chattel Mortgage
  • This sets out;
  • the term - 364 days
  • the rate - 15% pa
  • Bordeaux Cellars’ facility fee – 1%
  • the requirement to have appropriate insurance cover in place (at full replacement value)
  • the security; DP (Duty Paid) wine will be transferred to one of our wine storage facilities and In Bond wine will remain in the bonded warehouse, but title will be transferred to our custodian account for the Lender
  • the margin of security: the loan amount must not exceed 35% of the value of the wine. If this LTV is breached for 28 days or reaches 40% at any time a default occurs
  • defaults; these include the LTV rising above 35% (in which case the Borrower must repay the loan in part or provide additional security to restore the LTV to 35%, or repay the loan in full) and the Borrower becoming bankrupt

6. Loan acceptance

  • The Borrower completes and returns a copy of the Facility Letter and the Chattel Mortgage
  • The Borrower pays the insurance premium and Bordeaux Cellars arrange the cover (12 months’ full replacement value, including whilst in transit)
  • The DP (Duty Paid) wine is transferred to Bordeaux Cellars’ storage facility or title to IB (In Bond) wine is transferred to our custodian account
  • The Lender sends funds to Bordeaux Cellars' client account

7. Registering the Chattel Mortgage

  • Loans are structured between Special Purpose Vehicle companies owned by the Borrower, and the Lender
  • The loan is Governed by the Laws of England and Wales (irrespective of the location of the lender, borrower or security)
  • Within 7 days Bordeaux Cellars and the Borrower attend the Royal Courts of Justice where the Bill of Sale is executed and the Chattel Mortgage registered under the Bills of Sale Acts 1878 – 1882
  • The Court records the registered documents with a unique identifying number
  • Copies of the registered Chattel Mortgage and Court fees receipt are provided to the Lender and the Borrower

8. The loan

  • Following registration of the Chattel Mortgage Bordeaux Cellars transfer the loan amount to the Borrower
  • Bordeaux Cellars acts as custodian to protect the interests of lenders and borrowers.
  • During the term of the loan (unless a default arises) neither the Lender nor the Borrower has access to the wine, nor may they deal in, sell, pledge or further mortgage the wine
  • Bordeaux Cellars monitor the value of the wine and if necessary arrange for additional security or early repayment of the loan (see 5 above)
  • Each quarter the Borrower pays the interest due on the loan to Bordeaux Cellars
  • Within three working days of receipt Bordeaux Cellars pays the interest due to the Lender
  • On redemption (a year less a day) the Borrower repays the principal and final interest payment to Bordeaux Cellars
  • Within three working days of receipt Bordeaux Cellars pays the principal and interest due to the Lender
  • The Lender then provides Bordeaux Cellars with a Receipt and Discharge and the wine/title to the wine is transferred back to the Borrower