Former runner up on The Apprentice and a media heart-throb, Gearing originally had his sights set on the City. However, with the investment wine market flourishing, he was presented with the opportunity to combine his passion for fine wine with an investment-based business, and so, in 2007, Cult Wines was born.
Gearing, who is MD while his father Philip is chairman, has since grown the business from a small family-run start-up to one of the UK’s leading wine investment companies. They now have over £30 million of assets under management in over 55 different countries, with sales topping 17 million in 2015.
They have a very clear modus operandi: ‘to provide a more bespoke portfolio management service for clients who have the intention of building up wine collections for capital appreciation and investment purposes,’ he says. The Cult Wines’ team comprises a mixture of financial markets and fine wine experts.
Still in his twenties, Gearing got a taste for wine at a young age accompanying his father on trips to the Cote D’Or, where he recalls tasting his first wine out of a barrel at the tender age of twelve. ‘We would drive a transit van down to Burgundy from South-West London going between producers using me as a bargaining chip,’ he says, laughing.
He says Bordeaux is the ‘bread and butter for anyone wanting to build a wine collection’, but encourages clients to diversify so as to mitigate disappointment in case of volatility in any particular region or wine brand.