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New hotel to contain incredible cellar

The owner of a hotel with one of the world’s finest wine cellars is opening a second one with an even better collection.

The Park Hotel Vitznau on the shores of Lake Lucerne

The existing cellar has over 50,000 bottles and is housed in the Palais Coburg, Vienna’s most expensive hotel, which is owned by Peter Pühringer, a German construction engineer and fund manager.

The latest collection will be placed in a new hotel in Switzerland (pictured, left), which, as previously reported by the drinks business, was bought by Peter’s group of companies, the POK Pühringer AG, in 2009.

The building, called the Park Hotel Vitznau, is based on the shores of Lake Lucerne, and promises to be even more luxurious than the Palais Coburg, which Peter spent over €80 million restoring after he bought the ruined former summer residence of Ferdinand von Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in the late 90s (pictured, below).

Peter is already living in an apartment in the Park Hotel Vitznau, which he plans to open to guests in November this year.

Wine director for the Palais Coburg and Vitznau is Frank Smulders MW, who said he has been travelling Europe viewing private cellars and speaking to producers to build a new collection for the Swiss hotel.

The Palais Coburg

He also said that the new wine cellar would be better than the one at the Palais Coburg, which boasts six separate areas containing wines from France, the Old World, the New World, rare wines, Champagne, and a collection of over 100 vintages of Château d’Yquem.

Frank also said that he was hoping to set up an education centre at the new hotel for analysing fine and rare wines in partnership with the University of Bordeaux.

The facility would support research taking place in Bordeaux, but studies at the hotel would use Peter’s collection of old and rare wines, and would include courses for wine educators.

“We want to discover more about the aromas in wine and how we perceive them – which is different for all of us,” said Frank.

“We want to help everybody better understand their own perception of aromas with an educational course, which will help them become better tasters,” he added.

He also said the new wine collection would contain a similar cross-section of labels as the Palais Coburg, which is concentrated on fine wines from classic regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo, Chianti, Rioja, Napa and Champagne, as well as very old bottles of Port and Madeira.

One of the cellars at the Palais Coburg

He acknowledged the existence of larger wine collections such as those at La Tour d’Argent in Paris and Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, but said that he wasn’t convinced that the quality of the contents were superior to the Palais Coburg.

Owner of both hotels, Peter Pühringer, is a long time wine lover who prefers to keep a low profile, but reputedly wants to create the best wine collection in the world, and has generously subsidised a Fine and Rare Specialist course at the Palais Coburg for the last two years.


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