Allegrini 2018

If the barrel is not bought, but rented. Between flexibility and cost management

A type of business already widespread in France and Spain, and which is also making its way into Italy. At WineNews, Stefano Cordero di Montezemolo
If the barrel is not bought, but rented. Between flexibility and cost management

As a fleet of company cars can be leased, for some time even the barrels to produce wine can be rented. With more convenient aspects that, especially in times like these in which liquidity is an important criticality for many wineries, are not of little account. The deduction of the expense, the not immobilization of capital, the management of the spaces in the cellar. This is explained to WineNews by Stefano Cordero di Montezemolo, Professor of Wine Economics at the University of Florence, and advisor in Italy to H&A Barrels Management, a company founded a few years ago in Bordeaux, which launched this type of business in France a few years ago, and has gradually conquered many important markets, such as Spain, and has also been growing in Italy for some time, especially in areas such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Montalcino, Valpolicella and Bolgheri, to name just a few examples.
“The concept is simple: the company buys the barrels from the tonnellerie which, importantly, is chosen directly by the wine producer, whether we are talking about barriques, large barrels or other barrels. And then the company rents them to the wineries, and once the rental period is over, it takes them back and resells them to the producers of spirits, beers and so on, creating a virtuous circle. It is no coincidence that this type of business was born in Bordeaux, in an area where in addition to many large wineries there are also many producers of cognac and not only”.
An interesting service, Montezemolo points out, taking into account several factors: “first of all in Italy on average a barrel is used for a period between 3 and 5 years, but there are also those who, as happens especially in France, replace them almost annually. With costs on the capital of not little account. In any case, often in order to purchase, one has access to forms of financing that last beyond the very duration of the asset, and this, from a financial point of view, is improper. In addition, renting, instead, that buying the expense is deductible, capital is not immobilized, and in addition at the end of the lease there is not the problem of having to make room in the cellar or dispose of the old barrel, because the company takes care of everything, which also traces and certifies the entire path of the barrel itself. Not to mention the flexibility of this tool, since, especially the small wineries, as the quantities of each harvest vary, may need more or less barrels from year to year, and this type of business allows you to have in the cellar and pay only those that actually serve from time to time”.
In a world of agriculture and wine production that increasingly relies on tertiary services, for a greater need for resource efficiency, flexibility and cost restructuring, even the barrel segment is no longer an exception.

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