By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
A cache of fine wines over one hundred years old has been found in a Czech castle.
The story of the wine collection reads like a novel. The cache, along with other valuable assets, were hidden by an aristocratic Czech family fleeing the Nazis in the 1940s. In the early 90s, an American representing the family returned to the Czech Republic looking for ‘treasure’, which tipped off the police, who found the family’s heirlooms first – but bypassed a seemingly dusty set of old bottles, whose true value has only just been discovered.
The collection, 133 bottles in total, includes an 1899 bottle of Pedro Ximenez sherry and a Chateau d'Yquem 1896. Valuers estimate that the collection is worth US $830,000, but predicts that the wines could fetch much more at auction.
Some fortunate sommeliers have tried a couple of the bottles. Using Coravin technology to pierce a cork without removing it, they have been able to affirm that the wines remain in good condition. The bottles are set to be recorked in Chateau d’Yquem in France, but the Czech state has yet to reveal what it will do with the collection that it has claimed as its own.