Thieves have stolen 40,000 Euros of grapes reserved for Luminescence, a rare cuvée of Condrieu from Maison Etienne Guigal.
Luminescence has only previously been produced in 1999 and 2003.
On the morning of Friday 11th September, when it was decided the grapes would be picked, Philippe and Marcel Guigal found a third of the grapes had already been harvested.
‘Someone had picked our grapes. It was very upsetting for my father and me,’ Philippe Guigal, managing director at Maison Etienne Guigal, told Decanter.com.
2015 has been a good vintage across the northern Rhône – the ‘best vintage in my fifty-five vintages background,’ said Marcel Guigal.
Philippe Guigal also stated ‘2015 is a perfect vintage [for Luminescence]. The passerillage was very fast and its health status was perfect.’
Talking about the theft, Philippe added ‘the act seems premeditated, as the roads leading to the vines are in a cul-de-sac.’
Fortunately, the other two-thirds of the vineyard are in ‘perfect condition, with a fabulous ripeness and marvellous grapes.’
Maison Etienne Guigal have not let the incident dampen their spirits though. ‘We have decided to produce the 2015 cuvée Luminescence in spite of this incident,’ Philippe Guigal said.
Luminescence costs approximately 40 euros for half a bottle – meaning Maison Etienne Guigal lost approximately 40,000 Euros (GBP 29,330 or USD 45,350) in one night.
Philippe Guigal has filed a complaint about the theft and the investigation is ongoing.
Additional editing by Ellie Douglas.