In the early 90s John Baker discovered a tail about legendary mythical wine collection of rare wines dating back two centuries. It was thought the collection belonged to the Russian Emperor Nikolay II and later ended up under the possession of Iosif Stalin. John went on an adventure of lifetime to the other side of the world from Australia to Georgia in an attempt to secure a deal to purchase these rare wines from a hidden cellar. Accompanied by armed gunman he visited the cellar and attempted to verify the authenticity of the wines. The collection was thought to be of most rare and valuable wines in the world dating back 1700 and included wines produced by Châteaux Margaux, Latour, Lafite and Yquem.
To discover the full story listen to the podcast of John's adventure follow the link below:
(Photo source: iwfc.org)
Stalin's wine cellar had never been disclosed to the world. It may still be hidden in the ancient hidden vaults of Georgian cellars. In 2004 some of these wines resurfaced at auctions. Hundreds of bottles were presented at Sotherby's auction and most expensive bottle scored $8000. The collection was presented by Massandra winery.
(Photo sourced: decanter.com)
Massandra winery is located in Crimea and played a big role in the Soviet times. Almost all Soviet leaders were in Massandra including Khrushchev, Brezhnev and other leaders of the socialist counties.
Gherman Georgievich Valuiko is pronounced a "king of red wines". Outstanding Scientist in Wine Technology, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor just after his 80th birthday in 2004 has shared some of his memories with a Ukranian gazette Fakti.
"By the way, during the Great Patriotic War before the German occupation of Yalta, the wine made in "Massandra" was poured into the sea so that the enemy would not get it. The bottle collection and some of the precious barrel wines just before the occupation were taken out by the last sailing ships. These wines were stored in Tbilisi. Part of the collection disappeared, part returned to Massandra. In subsequent years, it was replenished with the best samples and partially went into export sales. Some samples with the royal monogram on the bottle were sold at Sotheby's for $ 20,000 per bottle!"
Where is these unique wines now? It may resurface one day or it may be forever hidden from the public eye.