Saturday, May 8, 2010

Arsenic and Old….Romanee Conti?

Like sands through the hour glass so are the days our lives.
And you thought soap opera's only happened on tv... maybe not. How about at one of the worlds greatest wine estates, Romanee Conti? Ok, do I have your attention now.... so what exactly is going on at Romanee Conti these days? How about bribes, lies, and video tape? Well not exactly, but with all the story lines that can be written, would you believe blackmail or poison would be at the top of any inquirers list? Not!!

First off, what do we know about the Romanee Conti Estate? I think Clive Coates said it best. Romanee Conti is, “the scarcest, most expensive - and frequently the best - wine in the world . . . This is the purest, most aristocratic and most intense example of Pinot Noir you could possibly imagine. Not only nectar: a yardstick with which to judge all other Burgundies.” Hey, what a perfect place to attempt a blackmail extortion plot right? So what actually transpired? It appears that an unnamed, 57-year-old man is accused of attempting to extort 1 million euros from the estate by threatening to poison the vines. Did I hear right? Shocking to the wine world, but very true.

Aubert de Villaine, co-manager of the estate, told ABC News, “We received a first letter in January saying that we would be getting a second letter with some bad news in it.” Two weeks later, the second letter arrived in the mail. “The letter was saying that our vine stocks would be poisoned if we did not pay a ransom of 1 million euros,” Villaine also went on to state, “In order to show how serious he was, he had made a hole in each of the two vines and injected a liquid into them, some sort of weed-killer, like Roundup," As if the whole scheme wasn’t creepy enough, the perpetrator asked for the ransom to be dropped off in the cemetery of Chambolle-Musigny. Wow, what a great idea! Why didn't I think of this? Oh, I know why, keep reading.

In an attempt to catch the return of this nocturnal criminal, night-vision cameras were installed to oversee the vineyards. To buy time, the estate replied saying they needed to call a special general assembly to procure the ransom money. This gave the estate enough time to come up with a counter plan with the authorities. By the time the satchel filled with false bank notes was placed at the cemetery, it was all but over. The extortionist was immediately apprehended at the pick up site. Good riddance and where he's going, the wine list leaves much to be desired. Until next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment