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RECORDS

Serious and fun wine records, according to “Guinness World Records”

Fun facts from the wine world, as told by WineNews, from the oldest wine to the largest winery in the world, to the most expensive bottle at auction

The oldest wine dates back to eight thousand years ago, in the middle of the Neolithic Age, as chemical analyses have demonstrated on archaeologists’ finds at the sites of Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, 50 kilometers south of Tbilisi, Georgia, which revealed traces of tartaric acid. In the Middle East, there are large quantities of it, but only in Vitis Vinifera grapes, and the wine produced from them. Confirmation of age comes from other organic acids found (malic, citric and succinic), which are also present in Eurasian grapes. The record was certified by “Guinness World Records”, which, for decades, has registered all kinds of records, including hundreds of interesting facts in the wine world as well. WineNews, in a journey around the world, will let you discover both serious and fun records.
Starting in London, home of “The Antique Wine Company”, which on January 18, 2011 sold the most expensive bottle of white wine ever. It was Chateau d’Yquem 1811, sold at 75.000 Sterling pounds and purchased by Christian Vanneque, owner of SIP Wine Bar in Bali, Indonesia. Definitely less epic, but certainly not less interesting, was the longest row of bottles, put together in the United States by Michael Golembiowski and the Ski Lodge Winery, in Ohio, which lined up 1.725 bottles, 132.28 meters long, on September 23rd. Not bad, but it can be beat...
In the restaurant world, instead, it will be difficult to do better than Chiggeri, a restaurant in Luxembourg, which, in 2008 had 1.746 different wines on its wine list, all available in their wine cellar for more than six consecutive months. We will have to wait a little longer, at least until the end of the pandemic, to break another historical record: the largest wine tasting ever staged. 5.095 people tasted wine together in Plaza de Toros in Aranda de Duero on September 15, 2006.
Not all records are the same, and we hope that no one intends to break some of them. Like the one of the most lucrative fraud, which has nothing to do with the most famous wine forger in the world, Rudi Kurniawan, recently released from prison. This record belongs to two Italians from Novara, who in 2013 were accused of having falsified and marketed 400 bottles of Romanée-Conti, sold for 9.000 euros each, all over the world, earning almost 2 million euros. An impressive record belongs to the Wijnbouwers Vereniging cooperative winery, in Cape Town, South Africa. It is the largest in the world, covering 22 hectares, and has a capacity of 121 million liters.
A record that will be really hard to beat, belongs to Italy, and is the record for the largest barrel in the world. Garbellotto made it in 2013, and it can hold close to 42.909 liters of wine. Another fun record is the largest collection of wine labels in the world, which has been held continuously since the year 2000, by the Greek collector, Sophia Vaharis-Tsouvelekakis. Her passion for collecting wine labels started in 1986, and in 2019 she reached 17.758 wine and Champagne labels. Going from labels to bottles of wine, the wine cellar with the largest number of bottles stored is Milestii Mici, in Moldova. The cellar is a maze of tunnels that miners dug, 55 kilometers long, where in 2005 1.5 million bottles of wine were stored. The first were stored in 1968, and year after year, they’ve reached a record that will be hard to beat.
One of the many records that we like to recall, especially since we deal with them often is the most expensive wine ever sold at an auction. The legendary Romanée Conti 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, sold for 481.976 euros at Sotheby’s auction sale, in New York, on October 13, 2018. The final price was 17 times its initial one of 26.640 euros. Strangely enough, Robert Drouhin, patriarch of the Maison Joseph Drouhin, also in Burgundy, sold the bottle. Want some more fun records? On April 18, 2001, in Paris, Alain Dorotte opened 13 bottles of wine in one minute using a simple T-shaped corkscrew: extraordinary. On August 26th of this year, in Great Britain, Steve Rawlings balanced a glass on a wand he held in his mouth for 30 minutes and 9 seconds: patience and perfectly still. On September 5, 2015, in Mendrisio, Switzerland, 2La Sciabolata dei Momò2 was staged, in which 487 people simultaneously sabered their bottle of Champagne. It made the record, even though 13 participants were disqualified because they shattered their own bottles…

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