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Shipwrecked Champagne to go to auction

Published:  27 April, 2011

Two bottles of the 1840s vintage Champagne recovered from the shipwreck in the Åland archipelago in Finland last summer, are to be auctioned.

Following a successful salvage operation of 145 bottles in June 2010, it was clear that the discovery consisted of the world's oldest Champagne labels; Veuve Clicquot, Juglar and Heidsieck.

The Government of Åland, which owns the bottles, decided that one bottle each from Veuve Clicquot and Juglar will be sold at an exclusive Champagne auction to be held in Mariehamn, Åland, on June 3.

The vintage Champagnes are thought to be the oldest Champagnes for sale in existence, are among the most exciting discoveries ever in the world of wine.

John Kapon, chief executive officer, Acker Merrall & Condit, said: "Having survived nearly two centuries, these amazing bottles of vintage Champagne are without precedent.

"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."

Departmental head Rainer Juslin of the Åland Government said 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.

The auctioneers will be Acker Merrall & Condit, the world's premier wine auction house.