At the world’s most exclusive wine and spirits clubs, members get to experience some of the best bottles out there. But perhaps more important, they also gain access to the people who know why they are the best: sommeliers, wine producers, and libation gurus who have put in the hours and who know the history of the spirits, the esoteric brand biographies, and the alchemic intricacies of a spirit’s production. Indeed, there is something to be said about exclusivity.
For those who can fork over the cash—and it is typically a lot of cash—and who have an appreciation for fine drink, joining one of these clubs can be worthwhile. By nature, these clubs can be a bit hard to find. To make your search easier, here are some of the world’s most prestigious and exclusive ones.
Part of Moraga Bel Air, a pristine estate in the Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles, the name of this club refers to a block of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines at the summit of the vineyard, overlooking the Pacific; cielo means “sky” in Italian. Though a strenuous hike is required to reach that area, the club itself is effortless. Beyond deliveries of wine cases in the fall and the spring, it provides members with access to events at the Moraga Library Salon located on the estate, which is the former home of Victor Fleming, director of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.