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World’s most expensive wine puts Petrus in shade

The world’s most expensive icewine has gone on sale, its creators hoping to snare a buyer willing to write a cheque for CAN$30,000 for a half bottle.

Whoever snaps up the rare liquid – only 5 cases of the Chardonnay icewine have been produced – will have to have a fine sense of the absurd as well as deep pockets.

Icewine – made from grapes picked at -8C – is among the world’s most labour-intensive wines. But with the world’s richest people already splashing out on Bordeaux 2005, whose most expensive wine is Chateau Petrus at £20,000 a case, it may be difficult to focus minds on a sweet wine from Ontario.

The Billy Myers series icewine is one of the 18 different varieties of icewine Royal DeMaria have marketed from their Ontario vineyard.

However, the Royal DeMaria has a history of finding buyers for its stratospherically expensive products.

Among other firsts the company – owned by Joseph DeMaria – has distinction of producing the world’s only Meritage icewine (in 2002) was introduced at CAN$395 a half bottle. As stock diminished the price rose to CAN$5,000.

No one has as yet taken advantage of owning the world’s most expensive wine, according to Charlene Stephenson, director of sales & marketing.

‘Most of the interest is coming from overseas buyers in Japan and the United Arab Emirates.’

The wine is worth its price tag because it is ‘a unique varietal that has done very well for us on the competition circuit,’ Stephenson said.

‘The 2000 Chardonnay Icewine won consecutively for five years at Les Citadelles du Vin, VinExpo, and has also won gold for the last two consecutive years at Chardonnay-du-Monde in Chaintre.’

A step up in price from Royal DeMaria’s Collector’s Series that range from CAN$1800 to CAN$5000 a half bottle, the Chardonnay is the first in a series honouring a Niagara grape grower, Billy Myers, who has been farming for 40 years.

Written by Tony Aspler

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