FAQ: here are the answers to some of the questions we have received – please do send us more questions and we will add them and answers to this list and re-send the list with the next update, as they will probably be of general interest.
Q: Why is FromVineyardsDirect (still) selling wines, sending emails about some of the old favourite wines back in stock and publishing a Christmas brochure when the en primeur owed by the old company has not been resolved yet.
A: The short answer is that if we did not sell drinking wines this Christmas (as opposed to en primeur) then where would we fund the money we are likely to have to pay to secure the en primeur stocks? And this also allows us to give some business back to some suppliers of FromVineyardsDirect who may also have lost out in the administration. Esme and David are personally sorry that you are waiting for the en primeur wines; they are committed to making this new venture work so that this situation can be made good as soon as possible.
Q: When I paid for the wines en primeur, was the money paid directly to the chateau in which case why can’t I have my wines?
A: Generally, EP wines are reserved when the customer orders are received, and then paid in three instalments with the last being close to when the wines arrive. However, we know that FromVineyardsDirect.com Ltd was not making all of the instalment payments. We are checking what payments have been made and what is outstanding.
Q: When will I find out whether I am getting my wines?
A: It is difficult to give a firm timetable as it depends on quite a few factors and quite a lot of work. We are trying to solve the 2016’s first and hope to have this clear before Christmas, and working on the 2017 and 2018 vintages in parallel but with increased attention in the New Year.
Q: So am I definitely going to get my wines?
A: We can’t promise this at the moment. We are working to do what we can given the situation that we have inherited.
Q: Will I get any money back from the administrator?
A: That is one to ask the administrator, we can’t really shed any light on this. But clearly if we thought that you were going to get all your money back then we would not be running such a big project.
Q: May I have a refund?
A: We’re sorry but we cannot offer refunds for the money you paid to the old company. The administrator is responsible for any repayments of old debt. Our focus is trying to sort out the wine side.
Q: Why is FromVineyardsDirect.com still trading?
A:The assets and goodwill were sold by the administrators (to raise some money for creditors) to The Wine Company (UK) Ltd which is looking to restore FromVineyardsDirect.com to a stable position with a range of wines for customers. If The Wine Company (UK) Ltd had not bought the business, it would have gone into liquidation and there would have been no future, nor any chance of solving out these en primeur wines. The Wine Company (UK) Ltd now own and operate FromVineyardsDirect.com, but have not purchased the old company and liabilities.
Q:Why are Esme and David still involved if their business went ‘bankrupt’?
A: Esme and Davis were founders and major shareholders in the business that went into administration. They lost their shares and money when the business went into administration. They now consult to The Wine Company, with a clear remit to source and select the best wines for customers whilst the operational and financial management is done by team at The Wine Company.
Q: I used to be able to view my order history on the From Vineyards Direct website. Why can’t I now?
A: As The Wine Company inherited the customers, stock and assets of the old business, records (including purchases, invoices and credits) we not made available to us in full. We have invested in building a brand new website and orders from 1st October 2019 and ongoing will be viewable within your online profile on www.fromvineyardsdirect.com. If you are using the site for the first time, you will need to re-activate your old account details rather than set-up a brand new profile. Visit www.fromvineyardsdirect.com/reactivation-of-an-fvd-account.htm
Q: When will you give us another update?
A: The week commencing 20th June 2020
Q: Which wines are affected?
A: The wines that we believe may be affected and ‘at risk’ are as follows:
- Some of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage, due to arrive in 2019
- All of the 2017 and 2018 Bordeaux vintages, due to arrive in 2020 and 2021 respectively
- Two wines from the Burgundy 2017 campaign and one wine from the Rhône 2016 campaign
Q: Where were the en-primeur wines were kept (once here in the UK) under FVD? On occasions in the past, it was difficult to ascertain a specific record and thus confirmation of arrival at all. Do you know exactly where the warehouse for FVD was, and, was there only one facility, and, was that facility temperature controlled?
A: The wines were, and many still are, in controlled storage conditions with LCB (London City Bond), specifically in a warehouse in Barking. It is a professional storage facility for wine (my hundreds of thousands of cases for many merchants), but not a specialist “fine wine facility” such as Vinotheque, where we are gradually moving all reserves. This warehouse is in Burton-upon-Trent and also under LCB control.
We’re not concerned the wine is or was potentially spoiling, it’s been under good enough conditions for wine, even for the longer term.
Being a specialist fine wine storage facility, Vinotheque provides us with:
• Greater traceability in the warehouse – each case has a specific code and is condition checked upon arrival
• Humidly and temperature controlling (so rather than just been in ambient cellar conditions)
• Greater security and a higher level of insurance cover (this doesn’t affect you at a customer level, but ultimately affects the business should anything major happen)
• The rest of The Wine Company reserves are in this location, so we are combining our fine wine holdings.
Q: What about my other EP wines from 2015 and earlier?
A: These should be secure either in your named storage account or in our en primeur warehouse. We are currently working through these accounts and allocating wines that are physical. We will communicate with you a final list when we have it, likely January 2020. Please contact us with details if you would like to take delivery of anything in the meantime that you know is in storage (after paying duty, VAT and delivery).
Q: What if I have other questions that are not answered here?
A: Please email email@example.com with any questions which are not answered here or in the update emails. We’ll add any questions of general interest to this list.