They say the best way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large one. Actually there are several ways to make a small fortune in the wine business, but today we must add one more: blackmailing Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
As reported in the UK's Telegraph newspaper, apparently the owner of Romanée-Conti, Aubert de Villaine received at least two threatening letters that promised to poison his vineyards unless he forked over the equivalent of roughly 1.2 million dollars.
Apparently the letters, which revealed a detailed knowledge of the vineyards, suggested that two vines had already been poisoned. One of them was ripped out and provided to the police for analysis by the domaine, which of course means roughly one less bottle of Romanée-Conti will be available to the general public from now on. Given the steep prices and even steeper demand for the wine, it's no surprise that global stock markets went into free fall over the last 24 hours.
Thankfully like most extortionists, this one needed brain cells as much as he needed the money, and was apprehended trying to pick up a suitcase full of counterfeit bills in a nearby graveyard.
The long term impacts on the global wine investment markets remains to be seen, but rumors of a deal with Hollywood for a new series called True Wine Crimes has many in the wine world drooling over what they think might be the next best thing for Pinot Noir since Sideways.
Meanwhile Bill Harlan and Ann Colgin issued press releases indicating that they had retained the services of Blackwater Security as a precautionary measure.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
What's Holding Wine Back in America Vinography Images: From the Fog The World's First Wine Bar Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 31, 2015 Vinography Images: Sky Drama Secrets of the World's Best Wine Lists Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 24, 2015 Vinography Images: The Happy Canyon Drinking Time Itself: The Champagnes of Anselme Selosse The Great Prosecco Crisis of 2015
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune