Buying En Primeur

En Primeur is a French wine trade term for wine which is sold prior to being bottled, for delivery at a future date.

Why buy En Primeur?


The purchase of wine en primeur is often the only way to guarantee being able to enjoy a particular wine once it is ready to drink. The supply of mature fine wines on the market is relatively low, particularly amongst the most sought-after names.

Advantageous Pricing

Purchasing a wine en primeur often allows you to purchase at the lowest possible price at which that wine will be available. Storing the wine under bond also allows you to spread the cost of the wine by deferring the payment of duty and VAT until the wine is ready to drink.


By purchasing a wine en primeur you can be confident that your wine has come from a credible source, and you will have a traceable history of its care from that moment – important particularly if you wish to sell your wine at a later date.

How do I order an En Primeur wine?

  • You may add en primeur wines to your basket just like other wines. They will automatically be placed into a reserves account for you.
  • Wines purchased en primeur are normally purchased excluding duty and VAT.
  • When the wine arrives in the UK, it is automatically delivered to and stored at our bonded warehouse, Vinothèque, in Burton-on-Trent, where it will be stored in optimum conditions until you wish to withdraw it.
  • Each quarter, you will receive notification of any of your wines that has been shipped into the UK. This information can also be found in real-time on our website.
  • When you decide to take delivery of the wines you are required to pay the prevailing rate of UK duty and VAT.
  • Wines cellared with Lay & Wheeler are subject to cellarage charges.

Major En Primeur Campaigns


Bordeaux châteaux sell each new vintage en primeur, in the Spring following that of the harvest. The wines are then usually shipped into the UK during the Spring two years later.


The fine wines of Burgundy are offered en primeur in the January two years after the harvest. The wines are shipped into the UK during the Spring of the following year.


The Rhône valley releases their wines about 18 months after the vintage, usually between November and February. The current 2007 vintage has been extremely well received and compared to the equally brilliant 1990.

Other Regions

Other regions that offer fine wines en primeur include Tuscany, Piemonte and Port. The latter only releases vintage wines when conditions are favourable to the production of a fine wine with great longevity. The decision on whether to declare a vintage is made in the spring of the second year following the harvest.