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This direct-to-consumer platform allows shoppers to purchase a non-fungible token that is linked with a physical bottle from the winery.

WineChain promises ‘perfect provenance with minimal carbon footprint’ as you buy, sell and store fine wines online.

Three Champagne houses – Louis Roederer, Fleur de Miraval and Henri Giraud – have agreed to sell ‘wiNeFTs’ on the WineChain platform.

A variety of esteemed French estates are also on board, along with Egon Müller from Germany, Graham’s Port and Ceretto, Parusso and Roberto Voerzio from Italy.

‘They are all convinced that the solid guarantee of traceability offered by Web3, and the transparency and accessibility of transactions designed to open the world of wine to a whole new generation of enthusiasts, represent the future,’ said Antoine Pétrus, director of major international estates at WineChain.

‘Through this initiative, WineChain is resolutely committed to offering this disruptive, blockchain-based technology to all châteaux, estates and Champagne houses whose search for excellence is ongoing and permanent.’

Four entrepreneurs – Xavier Garambois, former head of Amazon Europe; Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel; Guillaume Jourdan, chief executive of VitaBella; and Nicolas Mendiharat, chief executive of WineChain – set it up in April 2022.

Fungible assets like dollars, euros, gold and Bitcoin can be readily interchanged, whereas non-fungible tokens have unique properties, making them ‘one-of-a-kind’ assets.

NFTs are underpinned by blockchain technology, which provides irrefutable proof of ownership on a decentralised ledger.

They took several industries by storm during the crypto bull run of 2021. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold the first ever Tweet as an NFT for $2.9m, Kings of Leon released an album as an NFT and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee auctioned off the original source code as an NFT.

Several leading spirits producers have sold NFTs tethered to physical bottles at a platform called BlockBar, while Norwegian bar Himkok released a cocktail menu in NFT format and Stella Artois auctioned NFTs of virtual racehorses draped in Stella-branded saddle cloths.

NFT mania has died down a little since then, but WineChain believes its fully digitised and decentralised certification process can revolutionise direct-to-consumer fine wine sales.

These are the first estates to register with the platform:

  • Weingut Egon Müller (Germany)
  • Château de Beaucastel (France)
  • Champagne Louis Roederer (France)
  • Champagne Fleur de Miraval (France)
  • Champagne Henri Giraud (France)
  • Cos d’Estournel (France)
  • Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (France)
  • Château Smith Haut Lafitte (France)
  • Domaine Vincent Girardin (France)
  • Domaine Didier Dagueneau (France)
  • Trimbach (France)
  • Roberto Voerzio (Italy)
  • Ceretto (Italy)
  • Parusso (Italy)
  • Graham’s (Portugal)

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