Sotheby’s head of wine to join NFT marketplace BlockBar

Sotheby’s head of wine to join NFT marketplace BlockBar

Jamie Ritchie, the head of Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits team, is to join BlockBar, the first NFT direct-to-consumer wine and spirits marketplace, as COO in July.

Jamie Ritchie – Managing Director of Sotheby’s Wine Americas & Asia

Ritchie, who takes up his new role on July 6, is a leading auctioneer and authority on wine and spirits who, during his 32 years at Sotheby’s wine department, has built a reputation for innovation, strategic planning, customer service, relationships and operational excellence.

He said he is looking forward to “a new challenge and adventure with a dynamic group of people, who share the same vision and values”.

BlockBar co-founder and CEO Dov Falic said he was “honored” that Ritchie had chosen to join an innovative startup like BlockBar, calling it “a testament to the company’s business model” that will enable it to play a leading role in the development of the distribution of wine and spirits worldwide.

The new appointment “solidifies BlockBar’s position as a global leader in Web 3.0 and blockchain wine and spirits investments”, the company said, demonstrating the growing importance of Web 3.0 to the luxury bottle secondary market.

“More people than ever are buying liquid assets, both to consume with friends and for investment, and BlockBar simplifies the buying process,” he said. “Based on the tremendous response to the unique bottles offered on our platform during our first year of operation, we are very confident in BlockBar’s rapid growth and we project significant revenue multiples over the next few years.”

Ritchie joined Sotheby’s in 1990, becoming head of Sotheby’s global wine business in May 2016. He was responsible for launching Sotheby’s wine auctions in New York in 1994, in Hong Kong in 2009 and France, as well as establishing Sotheby’s spirits category. Revenue from Sotheby’s wine and spirits auctions rose to $132 million under his leadership, and he holds the records for selling the most expensive bottles of both wine and spirits.

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Founded in October 2021 by Dov and his cousin Sam Falic, BlockBar sources exclusive wine and spirits directly from luxury brand owners including Moët Hennessy, Diageo, Rémy Cointreau, Bacardi, Treasury Wine Estates, Pernod Ricard and William Grant & Sons. Each physical bottle sold on comes with a digital version that guarantees its authenticity and can be traced back to the winery or distillery, and can be resold, gifted or redeemed for the physical bottle at any time.

Physical bottles are stored in a state-of-the-art facility in Singapore and can be shipped door-to-door anywhere in the world or made available for pickup at 250+ duty-free retail locations.

Read more:

Are NFTs the future of the premium drinks market?

Sotheby’s fine wine boss optimistic about market’s underlying stability

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