Octavian is committed to providing world-class cellarage services for an ever growing customer base. Improvements - some visible, some less so - continue throughout the business, to ensure we are equipped to manage the increasing volumes of wines stored in our safe keeping. Over the past 12 months, we have handled more than 1 million cases with a market value in excess of £1.5 billion and undertaken a record number of transactions: 71,000 condition images, over 12,500 deliveries to unique locations and more than 3,700 reworks.
Attention to even the smallest of details ensures we provide superlative care for the finest of wines. We have recently invested in bespoke material handling equipment (MHE), designed specifically to eliminate vibration when collections are moved. The MHE also features sophisticated monitoring systems to help us drive safely and with best practice throughout our facility.
Underground, we have added sensors to our lighting, ensuring that cases are left in the dark whilst helping the environment and mitigating increasing energy costs. We are also currently upgrading our underground dehumidifiers. This large-scale project will see us temporarily run our existing humidifiers alongside the new, advanced equipment to ensure that there is no impact on humidity levels. The double run will cease only when we are satisfied that we can switch seamlessly to the modern humidifiers with no disruption to the wines. However, to ensure total security and resilience in our storage environment, we will not be removing our existing dehumidifiers from our cellars.
A greater number of interventions (repackaging, reconfiguration into different pack sizes, photography and so on) go hand-in-hand with higher stock levels. Octavian has recently expanded its team, and as true custodians of each collection, our staff meticulously oversee the condition of ‘goods in’ and ‘goods out’. If there is any query on the condition of wines received, whether it be crushed cardboard packaging, damaged cases or cases with woodworm, we notify customers as early as possible. Whilst this may slow the receipt of cases into an account, we believe it is time well spent, offering the opportunity for you to seek possible redress with the seller.
Packaging, after all, has great impact on the overall value of a case. Replacing aged and second hand cartons, Octavian’s own wooden wine cases have proved a great success, providing greater protection for the wines and a more aesthetically pleasing delivery case, especially for home cellars.
Those of you with an eye for design may have noticed a few subtle changes to our brand. In this issue, you can see the streamlined Octavian logo and simplified typography in use, read why we’ve made these changes and learn that we will soon be launching a new online feature offering better information to make it easier for you to manage your collection.
We are delighted to feature Ella Lister’s market update again this year, and encourage you to use the tools on her analysis platform, wine-lister.com, to help with your buying decisions, especially during this year’s en primeur campaign.
In ‘Revolution in a Glass’, Elin McCoy explores the original Champagne socialists’ lifelong love of wine and how Marx’s legacy still influences the way we view wines today.
For a birds-eye view of Octavian, don’t miss Channel 4’s ‘Hidden Britain by Drone’ which will be aired in June. The programme will give new perspectives on the underground ‘Fort Knox’ of fine wine and we’re delighted to be able to share the passion that infuses all that we do here at Corsham with the greater public. We hope you enjoy watching it.