Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Wine & Spirits, is leaving his longtime employer of over 30 years to join BlockBar, the start-up company that aims to “democratize the world of wine and spirits through their unique blockchain based business model,” the company has announced.
Ritchie is Considered one of the most respected authorities in the wine and spirits industry, Ritchie will assume his new role as COO of BlockBar this July.
With a reputation for innovation, strategic planning, client service, relationships and operational excellence, his addition is expected to bring a wealth of experience and expertise to BlockBar.
Founded by cousins Dov and Sam Falic in 2021, BlockBar sells wine and spirits authenticated through the blockchain and offers its buyers storage, insurance, global shipping, and access to secondary marketplace. It claims to have “modernised the wine and spirits marketplace by democratising access and eliminating the possibility of counterfeiting.”
The company says it 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, to ensure that each bottle purchased is 100% authentic. Every physical bottle sold on BlockBar.com comes with a digital version that guarantees authenticity and can be traced all the way back to the winery or distillery.
Purchasers of the digital version can resell, gift or redeem for the physical bottle at any time. The 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.
Ritchie joined Sotheby’s in London in 1990 and was responsible for opening Sotheby’s wine auctions in New York, Hong Kong and France, as well as Sotheby’s spirits category. Under his leadership, Sotheby’s wine and spirits auction revenues rose to US$132 million. As one of the world’s leading auctioneers, Ritchie presided over several record-breaking auctions, and he holds the records for selling the most expensive bottles of both wine and spirits.
Dov Falic, Co-Founder and CEO of BlockBar, said: “Jamie Ritchie is recognised worldwide as a leader in the wine and spirits industry, and we are delighted and honored that he is joining our team. The fact that he has chosen to join an innovative startup like BlockBar is a testament to our business model and will help us to play a leading role in the evolution of the distribution of wine and spirits worldwide.
“More people than ever are purchasing liquid assets, both for consuming with friends and for investment, and BlockBar simplifies the purchase process. Based on the tremendous response to the unique bottles offered on our platform during our first year of operations, we are very confident about BlockBar’s rapid growth and we project significant revenue multiples over the next few years.”