INVESTING: Now, Chateau Cash Flow

Now, Chateau Cash Flow

Investors who buy commodity-futures contracts bet on whether the price of such staples as silver and soybeans will rise or fall. Now they can earn truly heady rewards from wine futures.

Robert Mondavi Winery, based in Oakville, Calif., is the first U.S. winemaker to offer such contracts on a nationwide basis. An investor who buys a $240 contract on a case of 1985 or 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is betting that the wines will increase in value by 1989. Because the contracts will bring in cash two years before the wines are usually sold, about 30 California vintners, including such names...

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