Wine seller now helps to store it too

For the past 14 years, Renny Heng has run a successful wine business. Wine Culture focuses on high-end wines from reputable wine-makers and artisanal producers, and has earned a reputation as one of Singapore's leading purveyors of top wines.

Mr Heng is now branching into another part of the business - wine storage. Keeping wines in a self-service storage facility isn't new, but his Only for Wine is exactly as its name implies. Other self-storage facilities allow users to store non-wine items.

Only for Wine has 120 lockers of different sizes spread over two floors in an office building off Leng Kee Road. Mr Heng wants to make the experience of storing wine here a breeze for busy folks.

There are trolleys on the first floor, so clients can load and unload their wines. There is also a staff member on hand from 9am to 8pm daily to help clients with their wines.

Clients are given a card that gives them access to their lockers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The facility is kept at a cool 12 to 14 deg C, and at a humidity level of 70 per cent. There are fleece jackets on hand for those who find the place too cold.

A map at the entrance clearly shows where the lockers are. There's also music piped in, so clients who come at 2am will still find the place welcoming. The lockers come empty, but racks can be rented for $20 a month per rack.

"Going into wine storage is a natural progression," said Mr Heng. "Most of Wine Culture's clients purchase more wine than they can consume. Not everyone has a big enough wine fridge or cellar, so there is a need for such wine-storage spaces."

He added that, often, clients are buying wine for the next generation, so "they will need a place to store their wines in the meantime". With this in mind, Mr Heng offers long-term membership rates. "The longer you rent, the more attractive the price is. After all, the wines will be stored here to be aged for more than a year."

For example, the monthly locker rate starts from $420. Quarterly rates start from $1,134, half-yearly rates from $2,142 and annual rates from $4,032. Most other self-service storage facilities offer monthly or quarterly rates.

Other features that Only for Wine throws in to sweeten the deal include transporting wines to and from the location for a fee, as well as gift-wrapping services. There is also an e-sommelier service, where a wine professional will dish out advice via e-mail within 24 hours.

Members also get special privileges, including a waiver of corkage fees for one bottle at Corner House restaurant, Verre wine bar and French tavern Shelter in the Woods. Mr Heng owns these three establishments.

Only for Wine is located at 1 Chang Charn Road, OC Building, #04-05.

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