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Leading Chablis producer hit by ram-raid wine theft

Chablis producer Julien Brocard of Domaine Jean Marc Brocard has lost 50,000 euros worth of top cuvees following a series of thefts in the area, including some involving an armoured car.

Thieves ram-raided Domaine Jean Marc Brocard‘s Chablis winery to get at some of the estate’s most prized wines.

The first theft took place nine months ago, with 600 bottles taken. There have been three more since, the last one a few days ago, each time with the thieves specifically targeting Brocard’s 14 limited production Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines including Bougros, Valmur, Les Clos, Montée de Tonnerre and Vaudésir.

Around 2,500 bottles have been stolen in total, covering the 2012, 2011 and 2013 vintages and totalling 50,000 euros.

‘This last theft was carried out as a ram raid with specially-armoured vehicles,’ Julien Brocard told Decanter.com. ‘The kind used more typically in jewellery heists. It caused serious destruction to our winery besides the loss of the wine itself.’

Brocard has now reinforced his cellar with cement blocks, and put out alerts to trace the wines, which are numbered by lot. None have resurfaced, suggesting the bottles were stolen to order. A few other Chablis properties have reported break-ins, including Domaine Roland Lavantureux in Lignerolles, but none systematically to this extent.

David Lavantureaux confirmed that the estate also had targeted by an armoured car with just Premier and Grand Cru wines taken – and that there have been up to 15 other thefts just in the village of Lignerolles over the past two years, without a single arrest made.

‘We in Burgundy are all about welcoming visitors and open doors,’ Brocard said. ‘We don’t want to move these special cuvées off site and penalise our clients, but it is very difficult to know what to do next’.

The Auxerre police department has opened a special enquiry team, and has set up a special protection unit that checks on the domaine at regular intervals daily, but so far no leads have been made public.

See also:

Man jailed for $2.7m wine theft

A former employee of storage business Legend Cellars has been jailed for six years after stealing US$2.7m of wine from

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