South African winery Groot Constantia has bought back one of its oldest bottles of wine still in existence, after learning about it being auctioned from a Decanter.com article.

Records show that Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance wine was enjoyed by French emperor Napoleon during his exile on St Helena.

In a rare sale, a bottle of Grand Constance 1821 was auctioned online by Catawiki last week.

Groot Constantia entered the auction and ended up securing the winning bid, of £1,318.

Boela Gerber, winemaker at Groot Constantia, said, ‘We were not aware of the auction until we read about it on [Decanter.com].’

‘We are happy to report that our bid was successful, [and] the bottle of 1821 Grand Constance is coming home.’

Fewer than 12 bottles of the 1821 Grand Constance have been preserved around the world, it is believed.

Groot Constantia is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa, having produced wine for more than 325 years.

Napoleon and his entourage ordered 30 bottles of Grand Constance per month on St Helena, according to records.

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