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In partnership with OenoFuture
  1. Oeno Group
July 19, 2023updated Sep 08, 2023

The Importance of Expert Partners in Wine Investment

To make the right decisions when investing in fine wine, it's key that you find the right partners.

By Toby Louch

At times, the wine investment industry can be complex, brimming with tradition and seemingly indecipherable jargon. It’s also rapidly changing and those who don’t constantly have their finger on the pulse can miss vital opportunities.

When it comes to wine investment, choosing the right partners — experts in their respective fields — can make all the difference. OenoFuture has built its reputation as a great partner, helping to open doors for first-time investors who may possess little knowledge about wine or investing as a whole. 

CEO Michael Doerr founded the group in 2015 and has played a critical role in ensuring that the OenoGroup offers real insight and proximity to the industry. “If you look at what other companies are doing,” says Doerr, “they have investment experts, but it’s very rare they have people who truly understand the wine world. That’s what we do differently.”

Doerr has always been involved with luxury commodities. He earned his first paycheck working at a stable at the age of 12. This led to riding regularly and being headhunted by a renowned horse agent. Soon he was traveling the world selling horses for vast sums of money.

OENO CEO Michael Doerr
Michael Doerr, CEO, founded the OenoGroup in 2015 / ©OenoGroup

“During these sales, we would visit buyer’s houses and often they would show us their wine cellar,” says Doerr. “They would say ‘I bought this for 500 now it’s worth 2,000’. It really opened my eyes to wine as an investable asset.”

Now the ambition is to open the eyes of investors. OenoGroup facilitates every step of the process, from initial investment, to trade and liquidation of assets using their multitude of buyers and merchants. The company even has its own boutique, OenoHouse, providing bottles for immediate consumption. The only way this complicated operation can work so effectively is due to the expertise embedded in every facet of the OenoGroup.

[See also: An Introduction to Wine Investemnt]

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Working with the Masters

One of the most lauded qualifications in the wine industry is the Master of Wine (MW). Akin to receiving a Ph.D. in wine tasting and knowledge, to even be accepted onto the Master of Wine course, an individual must have a diploma level wine and spirit qualification, in addition to three years of industry experience and a letter of recommendation from a Master of Wine. There are currently only just over 400 individuals that bare the title of Master of Wine. More people have been to space, so to say the process is selective is an understatement.

Gabriele Gorelli
The first Italian Master of Wine in history, Gabriele Gorelli MW / ©OenoGroup

“At Oeno, we are always thinking of the client, they come first at every step of the process,” says Doerr. “Our competitors may have investment experts on board, but very rarely are they working with serious wine individuals.”

OenoGroup’s close links with these Masters of Wine give it a real advantage over the competition.

One of the most successful relationships is with Italian wine expert Gabriele Gorelli MW. In 2021, Gorelli became the first Italian Master of Wine in history. As an ambassador for OenoGroup, Gorelli is a key partner as he is able to provide vital information on the Italian wine market and make key suggestions on potentially lucrative areas of investment.

At a time when the seemingly impervious Bordeaux market began to slump, having an expert in Italian wines allowed OenoFuture to spot future markets before they rose.

Almudena Alberca
OenoGroup’s brand ambassador for Spain, the first female Spanish Master of Wine, Almudena Alberca MW / ©OenoGroup

“In the world of wine you need to know people,” says Doerr. “These Masters of Wine have been building relationships for years. They are able to introduce us to the major players and the stars of the future to help secure the finest investment for our customers.”

It’s not just Italy either. Former wine director, Justin Knock MW — a renowned expert on Australian and Californian wine — built a strong team of well-known wine professionals infused with new talent.

One of these is Almudena Alberca MW, the first female Spanish Master of Wine and also OenoGroup’s brand ambassador for Spain. These crucial partners have played a major role in positioning OenoGroup as one of the leading wine investment companies.

Anti-fraud specialists

Checking for fake wine
OenoGroup has a team of antifraud specialists who ensure every bottle OenoGroup holds is as it seems / ©OenoGroup

All luxury assets that have the potential to sell for large sums of money carry the risk of fraud. Unlike precious metals or digital assets that can be easily verified, forgeries are a real concern in the luxury asset world.

Of course, forged art takes most of the limelight — the art fraud/heist has been a Hollywood staple for years — but forgers have not shied from the fine wine market. This is why OenoGroup formed the correct partnerships to become the first wine investment company to have its own anti-fraud unit.

“Unfortunately, there have been a few horror stories from companies that have found out they had sold a lot of forged wines,” says Doerr. “I looked at that and thought our clients need to feel 100% safe that if they are buying an asset from us, it is what we say it is.”

OenoGroup put in place a strict checking system to ensure all of its assets are legitimate. A lot of the wines come directly from suppliers; this results in far lower risk.

“Wine purchased on the secondary market all comes into the company and is fully checked by our experts,” adds Doerr. “We also invest in very little stock from certain markets where we are aware that compromised stock has infiltrated the trade circuit, unless it is from our trusted agencies and vineyards.

“We visited Geneva a couple of months ago to look at a huge £12m ($15.6m) portfolio of stock and bond and unfortunately, we spotted a couple of bottles that did not meet our standards so we said no to the whole collection.”

In a field where reputation is so important, OenoGroup is simply not prepared to take the risk. Doerr concludes by pointing out that in the unlikely event of a fake slipping through the cracks, 100% of its invested wine is covered by insurance, so there is never a possibility of an investor losing out.

Liquidating is easy with the right contacts

OenoGroup’s strong industry links with bars. restaurants and hotels ensure that when it’s time to liquidate, the buyers are always there / ©OenoGroup

So your investments have made strong returns and now it’s time to cash in on some of it. Like most luxury assets, there is a very limited live marketplace where everyone can buy and sell. “It’s a bit like property,” says Doerr. “You have to put whatever you are selling on the market and then wait for a buyer.”

That delay can put some investors off, but OenoGroup found strong partners within the industry and expanded its business in a way that makes the liquidation of wine investment quicker and easier.

“Using the contacts and relationships we have developed over the years, we introduced OenoTrade and OenoHouse,” says Doerr. These two arms of the OenoGroup essentially facilitate the process of selling to businesses or consumers.

Fine dining restaurants and hotels are one of the biggest purchasers of fine wine, so connections in this sector mean as soon as an investor places their wine on the market, OenoTrade is able to contact restaurants looking for particular bottles and handle the sale efficiently.

OenoHouse is a boutique store where people are able to purchase smaller quantities of wine for consumption at home, at the boutique itself, or for gifting purposes. Situated at the heart of London’s financial hub, the connection to investors is clear. This wine boutique simply opens up another avenue of potential asset liquidation.

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To learn more about wine investment visit the OenoFuture website at

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