Sotheby's head of wine and spirits joins BlockBar as COO

Sotheby's head of wine and spirits joins BlockBar as COO

Jamie Ritchie has joined blockchain-backed rare wines and spirits marketplace BlockBar after nearly 33 years with Sotheby's.

25 April 2023

One of the industry’s most respected authorities on fine and rare wines and spirits, Jamie Ritchie, is to join BlockBar as its chief operating officer. Ritchie, who has been with Sotheby’s for nearly 33 years and was most recently the auction house’s worldwide chairman of wines and spirits, will start with the tech startup in July.

Founded in October 2021 by Dov and Sam Falic, BlockBar offers a blockchain-authenticated online marketplace of platform-exclusive wines and spirits. The company provides its buyers with storage, insurance, global shipping, pickup at 250+ duty-free retail locations, and guaranteed authenticity, as all products sold on its platform are sourced directly from producers. In addition to buying and collecting bottles through BlockBar, users can utilise its secondary marketplace to buy, sell and gift bottles.

In less than two years, BlockBar has collaborated with luxury wine and spirits brands including Moët Hennessy, Diageo, Rémy Cointreau, Bacardi, Treasury Wine Estates, Pernod Ricard and William Grant & Sons, and its 29 whisky releases to date have included exclusive bottlings of Ardbeg, Dalmore, Midleton Very Rare and Royal Salute.

Ardbeg Fon Fhòid launched exclusively on BlockBar in April 2022.

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 ever to go under the hammer. In December 2021, he led the Distillers One of One auction, which saw over 40 unique Scotch whiskies raise £2.45 million for charity.

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 honoured 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.”

Subscribe to Our Magazine

Published in print 8 times each year, Whisky Magazine is the perfect drinking companion for all who enjoy the water of life. Subscribe to Whisky Magazine

More From This Category

Wonders of Whisky

Subscribe to the Whisky Magazine Newsletter to see the latest in all things whisky