The Most Expensive Burgundy Wine in the World
Christie’s has recently sold The Most Expensive Burgundy Wine in the World. The sale took place in Geneva on May 17 and the special lot was a 1945 bottle of Romanée-Conti Wine. Only 600 such bottles were produced in that year and the Burgundy inside them boasted a unique flavor thanks to the hot, dry summer of 1945, which gave only a small crop, but of high quality grapes.
Burgundy wine (French: Bourgogne or Vin de Bourgogne) is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France, in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône River, a tributary of the Rhône. The most famous wines produced here – those commonly referred to as “Burgundies” – are red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes or white wines made from Chardonnay grapes. Red and white wines are also made from other grape varieties, such as Gamay and Aligoté respectively. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are also produced in the region. Chardonnay-dominated Chablis and Gamay-dominated Beaujolais are formally part of the Burgundy wine region, but wines from those subregions are usually referred to by their own names rather than as “Burgundy wines”.
Burgundy has a higher number of appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOCs) than any other French region, and is often seen as the most terroir-conscious of the French wine regions. The various Burgundy AOCs are classified from carefully delineated Grand Cru vineyards down to more non-specific regional appellations. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy goes back to medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry.
The bottle in question was expected to raise between $56,000 and $78,000, but Christie’s managed to sell it for a staggering $123,919 to a private collector from the U.S. The value of this Romanée-Conti wine is especially great because it marked the end of one of the Most Expensive Burgundy Wine horrible wars ever – World War II.