Panicked customers ghosted by NYC fine wine storage facility
Customers have been unable to contact Chelsea Wine Store to retrieve their fine wines since October and are worried that their collections have been sold, misplaced or stored at the wrong temperature.
Customers who store their collectable wines at New York’s Chelsea Wine Store are fearing the worst as they have been unable to reach anyone at the facility for more than a month.
Phone calls and emails have gone unanswered and the door unopened when clientele have gone to visit the store in person to request the withdrawal of their wines.
According to The New York Post, Chelsea Wine Store, which has held wines for some of the city’s top restaurants as well as individual collectors, is “stonewalling” customers who are trying to make contact.
Until last year customers could retrieve their collections whenever they wanted, but since the company moved from its original Chelsea Market site in NYC’s Meatpacking distract to a new Midtown location, wines have allegedly been left sitting in cardboard boxes and on wooden pallets while the basement property remains unfinished.
Customers are becoming increasingly concerned that their wines have been sold, misplaced or stored at the wrong temperature.
An inventory list acquired by The Post reveals that wines in the lock-up include top-end white Burgundys such as Coche-Dury Meursault 2011, with an estimated value of US$1,200 per bottle, and Faiveley Batard Montrachet, which sells for US$490.
“I cannot get them to answer emails or phone calls, and I am extremely worried about my collection…some of my most prized bottles somehow no longer appear in my inventory,” a Chelsea Wine Store customer posted on Yelp.
Another customer posted: “With no response, I am afraid my wines in storage are gone for good.”
Chelsea Wine Store owners Amelia and Michael Gancarz are also being sued by fine wine broker Grand Cru Liquid Assets for allegedly failing to deliver US$349,000 worth of Burgundy, which the broker bought and paid for in May.
Additionally, the owners are being sued in a separate case by Delshah Capital, landlord of the storage facility, for “months of unpaid rent”, with Delshah calling Chelsea Wine Store “undercapitalized and completely disorganised.”
The fine wine storage company has reportedly blamed the radio silence with customers on its storage manager leaving the firm, amidst rumours that staff have not been paid.
In August the drinks business reported that New York wine shop Sherry Lehmann was being sued for US$3.6 million in back rent, compounding reports that the store owed customers more than US$1 million worth of wine.
Sherry Lehmann was forced to close temporarily in March 2023 after its liquor license was found to have expired.