Bidders at the upcoming Naples Winter Wine Festival 2018 auction will get a rare opportunity to buy a glimpse inside Moët Hennessy's mountainous Shangri-La winery in a remote part of China as one of several luxury packages, organisers have announced.
Moët Hennessy’s mountain winery in Yunnan Province in southern China has been likened to making wine on the roof of the world – such is its altitude – and the group released its inaugural red wine, Ao Yun 2013, last year.
Organisers of the Naples Winter Wine Festival 2018 auction said today (12 December) that one of its top lots will be an all-expenses-paid package for two couples to visit the winery and meet the team behind it.
No price estimates have been given, but the average price for a wine package in the annual Florida-based, charity auction is around $200,000, said a spokesperson for the auction, to be held on 27 January in 2018. It’s the first time a Chinese winery package has been offered at the event, the spokesperson told Decanter.com.
The Naples auction, organised by the Naples Children & Education Foundation, is known for its ostentatious prizes, from flash cars to exclusive holidays and private access, and the 2017 auction weekend raised just over $15.1 million – versus just under $11.1 million in 2016.
The Ao Yun lot at the Naples auction is set to include a tour of the vineyards, at more than 8,000 feet above sea level, as well as a private tasting with estate director Maxence Dulou and a night plus dinner staying in the Ao Yun lodge.
Vintages from 2014 to 2017 inclusive will be available to taste in-barrel, while the lot also includes two magnums of Ao Yun 2013 plus 12 bottles each of Ao Yun 2013 and 2014.
For good measure, there’s also return business class flights from anywhere in the US to Shangri-La city, and two nights in the Banyan Tree resort.
The vines at Moët’s Chinese winery were planted in 2002 and are mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with around 10% Cabernet Franc. The group, which is part of LVMH, has long stated its ambition to produce a fine red wine in China.
Decanter’s Jane Anson said of the 2013 wine, following a visit to the estate in 2015, ‘The wine is rich and ripe without sacrificing freshness. The quality of the tannins is what impresses me the most, soft but dense.’
Other lots at the Naples 2018 auction are set to include the ‘ultimate truffle dinner’ at Sea Salt in Naples, with imperials from Grace Family Vineyards, as well as a 60-gallon barrel of 2016 vintage wine from the Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate in St Helena, California – where winning bidders can create their own blend.
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