Fine wine thieves stole an estimated €350,000 of wines, including grand cru bottles, from Domaine de Rymska, a luxury Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant south of Beaune.
After breaking into the hotel’s cellars in the early hours of Tuesday morning (5 January), the burglars attempted to escape with their loot in a van.
But, the hotel’s owner was woken by a fire alarm and quickly alerted police, according to local newspaper Le Journal de Saône-et-Loire.
During a chase that led south towards the city of Lyon, the thieves threw some of the stolen fine wines at pursuing police, the newspaper reported.
None of the bottles hit their mark, and the thieves were forced to escape on foot after their van hit a toll barrier, it said.
It was the second time in two days that thieves had targeted Domaine de Rymska. Around €200,000 of fine wines were reportedly stolen a day earlier, but it was not clear whether the burglaries were related.
Domaine de Rymska lies around 30km south of Beaune and its restaurant features a lengthy list of Burgundy wines, including highly sought-after grand cru names.
The hotel was not immediately available for comment on the incidents.
The events follow separate news in December that French police had raided a gang suspected of stealing more than a €5m of grand cru wines from several locations. A coordinated police investigation had been underway for more than a year.