IN a spirit of entrepreneurial invention, the Gibraltar government has approved the construction of a £6 million (€7.8 million) investment wine storage facility within the miles of tunnels which run through the rock.
The store will be constructed at the old wireless station on the Eastside of The Rock just off Devil’s Tower Road.
Tunnels under Gibraltar were considerably extended prior to and during the Second World War and apart from being a massive storage area for munitions, included a full working hospital which is still there although redundant, bunkers for high-ranking politicians and military leaders and even a ´secret section´ into which a small number of observers were to be sealed in the event of the rock being taken over by the enemy.
“These are exciting times in the global wine storage sector with Gibraltar destined to be the hub of Western wine. Ideally positioned at the gateway of both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Gibraltar Wine Vaults is also able to offer competitive pricing, no Capital Gains Tax, no Inheritance Tax or VAT liability as well as superlative wine storage facilities,” CEO and founder of Gibraltar Wine Vaults Tracy Lee said.
The entire venture is undertaken as a private sector commercial activity but government is positive that the facility should encourage a growth in ‘wine tourism’ and storage especially as the area within The Rock is natural limestone which should create a good environment for investment wine to mature.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia stated “It is well known that there is an extensive network of tunnels and vaults inside Gibraltar. These were dedicated almost entirely for military use and were owned by the Ministry of Defence. A large part of that tunnel network has been handed over by the MOD to the Government of Gibraltar over the years and this has led to different uses for different parts of the complex.”