Load shedding can be frustrating. During the power cuts, chances are you may have experienced the results of a powerful surge on your appliances.
And as a wine collector, did you know that load shedding and natural disasters can also ruin your wine collection?
The managing director of Elite Risk Acceptances, Tarina Vlok, explores key aspects, such as proper storage techniques, challenges faced by collectors, protection measures during adverse events, wine collection management and insurance.
Vlok said that with the quality of wine improving in South Africa, wine collectors should safeguard their valuable collections, ensuring they remained drinkable and retain or potentially increased in value.
“When wine is stored correctly, it undergoes a transformative process, enhancing and intensifying its flavours.
“This holds true not only for casual collectors who simply enjoy their wines but also for serious collectors who maintain extensive cellars and view wine as a valuable investment.
“It is particularly important to ensure wine is stored at temperatures between 10 and 18° celsius for red wine and between 7°C and 10°C for white wine.
“Protecting wine from light is crucial, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade and prematurely age the wine. I advise keeping wine collections in a cool, dark place.”
Vlok said humidity was another crucial factor to consider, especially for corked wines, adding that wine bottles should be stored horizontally with the label facing up.
Vlok addressed the challenges collectors may face due to temperature fluctuations or unexpected events like load shedding or natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods or wildfires.
“If you have a cellar, ensure that the temperature remains constant and that you have sufficient back-up power to provide consistent temperature control, even during load shedding. Cellars are often installed below houses, which may result in flooding in the event of excessive rain or a rise in the water table.
“If you know that you live in an area vulnerable to flooding, install a sump pump and ensure that the slope of the land does not allow water to move from higher areas to lower-lying areas through your cellar.
“Besides ensuring ideal temperature, humidity, and light conditions for your wine collection’s maturation, it is crucial to secure suitable insurance. If your wine cellar is within your home, do not assume that the collection is automatically covered.”
Vlok recommended selecting a broker and a specialist insurer who understood how to protect your collection against sudden and unforeseen losses.
“If you have an expanded collection, ensure that you document your collection meticulously and that you keep a regular record of the current value of your wine.
“Also ensure that your sum insured in respect of your wine is regularly reviewed and updated, at least each year on renewal.”
Vlok’s top tips for wine collectors:
Keep an up-to-date inventory of your wine collection.
Ensure stable temperature control, even during load shedding.
Get appropriate and comprehensive insurance for your collection.
Regularly review your sum insured.