The Government of Åland has issued a press release regarding the auction announcing that the auctioneers will be Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s premier wine auction house:
PRESS RELEASE. Mariehamn, April 20th 2011
Unique Champagne Auction in Åland
Wreck Champagne Sells to the Highest Bidder
During the summer of 2010 divers discovered unique bottles of champagne in a shipwreck in the Åland archipelago in Finland. Following a successful salvage operation, it was clear that the discovery consisted of the world’s oldest champagne of the labels Veuve Clicquot, Juglar and Heidsieck. The Government of Åland, which owns the bottles, has decided that two of these bottles will be sold at an exclusive champagne auction to be held in Mariehamn, Åland, on 3 June 2011.
This unique auction will feature two single bottles, one of each from the legendary houses of Veuve Clicquot and Juglar. These vintage champagnes, which date to the early 1840´s and are thought to be the oldest champagnes for sale in existence, are among the most exciting discoveries ever in the world of wine. The auctioneers will be Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s premier wine auction house.
“There are few truly historic events in the world of wine, but this is one,” said John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit. “Having survived nearly two centuries, these amazing bottles of vintage champagne are without precedent. And it is our enormous privilege to partner with the Government of Åland in presenting these unique wines to the world. The events surrounding the auction will be filled with excitement and anticipation, and the auction itself is sure to be one of the most important and exhilarating in the history of wine.”
The world’s foremost champagne authority, Richard Juhlin, calls the auction one of the great moments in the world of wine.
Richard Juhlin said, “These bottles are unparalleled in the world of wine. One can only speculate on the final price, but it is likely to reach a record level.”
The Government of Åland has decided that whatever the financial surplus is, it will go to a good cause.
“The financial surplus that can be generated by the sale of the champagne bottles will go to charitable causes, such as environmental measures for improving the quality of water in the seas,” said departmental head Rainer Juslin of the Åland Government.
The name of the sunken vessel is still unknown, as is also its destination. A total of 145 bottles of champagne were salvaged. The now defunct champagne house Juglar made 95 bottles. The number of bottles from Veuve Clicquot is 46. Of the Heidsieck label four bottles have been recovered. After so many years on the seabed the contents of the bottles are extremely well preserved. The constant temperature and low light levels have provided optimal conditions for storage, and the pressure in the bottles has prevented seawater from seeping in through the corks.
Further information from The Government of Åland:
Rainer Juslin, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Culture
Tel. +358 18 25230 or +358 457 547 1338, email@example.com
Björn Häggblom, Head of Communications
Tel. +358 18 25143 or +358 50 547 0951, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit http://www.visitaland.com/en/facts/champagne for photos and further information about Åland.
Åland is an autonomous region of Finland. It is a demilitarised Swedish-speaking region with a right of self-government secured through international guarantees. The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea, consisting of more than 6 700 islands and skerries. The population of Åland is 28 000.
How much do you think the bottles will fetch?