15 remarkable drinks-related discoveries

Bollinger finds 600 hidden cuvées 

In 2010 Bollinger staff were clearing out their cellars in Aÿ when a rack of wines was removed from a darkened arch. Behind it the team was astonished to find a hidden room which had remained untouched and hidden for decades, containing around 600 cuvées. The youngest was from the 1939 vintage, the beginning of World War II, and the oldest from 1830.

It is believed that the bottles were stashed in secret at the beginning of World War II to avoid German pillaging, with the location, for whatever reason, never passed on to future staff.

In November 2016, the Champagne house decided to auction one of the bottles from the 1914 vintage. Historically, the 1914 vintage is significant as it was the year that World War I was declared by Germany. By the September harvest in September, many men were already on the battlefields, leaving the women to tend harvest and vinify the wines.

The lot, which also included a trip to the Champagne house’s cellars to visit its Galerie 1829 Champagne library, went for US$12,250.

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