340-Year-Old Tree Made into Wine Barrels

In 2005, the Bordeaux barrel-maker Tonnellerie Sylvain (Sylvain Cooperage) paid a record-breaking 37,790 euros for a 340-year-old oak tree auctioned by the French government. The tree was the last of the oldest oaks from the Morat Grove of the ancient Tronçais forest. It had been planted during the reign of Louis XIV at the direction…

US$172,000 “Bottle” of Wine

Penfolds is releasing a limited edition glass ampoule containing its rare 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon. Each ampoule contains the equivalent of one bottle of wine (750ml) and costs approximately US$172,000. According to Penfolds, the vessel is a “beautiful objet d’art designed to store wine in an ideal environment.” The handblown ampoule is securely…

Red Wine Made into Dress

Researchers at the University of Western Australia have discovered a way to make red wine into clothing, no weaving required. Scientist Gary Cass got the idea when he noticed a skin-like rubbery layer covering a vat of wine that was contaminated with Acetobacter, a non-hazardous bacteria. Working with artist Donna Franklin, they developed this material…

Wine Crimes

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Counterfeiting, vandalism, arson. Here’s a rundown of some of the more notorious “wine crimes” that have been in the news recently… Wine Collector Indicted for Counterfeiting In May 2012, Rudy Kurniawan, a collector of fine and rare wines who represented himself as an expert skilled at detecting counterfeit wine, was arrested on charges that he…

238-Year-Old Wine Sells for $49K

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According to Decanter.com, a 1774 bottle of vin jaune was purchased by an anonymous French buyer for US$49,343 on May 15th. Christie’s Geneva conducted the auction. The bottle was part of a batch which had been kept intact for eight generations by a family of winemakers in a vaulted underground cellar. The bottle comes from…

6,000 Year Old Winery Discovered

The earliest evidence of sophisticated, organized wine production was recently discovered by an international team of archaeologists excavating a site in Armenia. In January of 2011, the group reported having unearthed a beautifully preserved wine press from the Copper Age in a cave near the mountain village of Areni. The wine press was connected to…

Bomb Squad Destroys Pre-WWII Wine Collection

Decanter reports that a pre-World War II wine collection was recently discovered in a British garden—but, sadly, it was blown up by the bomb squad a short time later. Here’s what happened… Tim Woodall told Decanter that he was recently digging in his garden in Suffolk, England when he found a metal cylinder. Thinking it…

Henry VIII’s Wine Fountain Recreated

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How’d you like to drink out of Henry VIII’s wine fountain? If the answer is yes, you are in luck. In 2010, Henry’s Hampton Court Palace wine fountain was recreated. Most of the time it has water, but on select days it serves red and white wine for £3.50 per glass. According to the press…

Under the Sea: 200-Year-Old Champagne

In July of 2010, bottles of château-aged, ultra-premium Champagne—lost for more than 170 years—were discovered by marine archaeologists inside a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. The site of the wreckage was in waters belonging to the Aland Islands, a Finnish archipelago located between Sweden and Finland. The vessel was a twin-masted schooner, believed to have…