Becov nad Teplou, West Bohemia, July 13 (CTK) – The value of the wine collection that was found in the Becov chateau in 1985 along with the Romanesque reliquary of St. Maur is up to 30 million crowns, according to an expert opinion, Becov chateau deputy warden Andrea Grecmanova told CTK on Wednesday.
Some of the 136 wine bottles that are about 130 years old are put at 700,000 crowns each, , for instance, from the Chateau d’Yquem vinery, Grecmanova said.
Originally, the value of the whole collection was estimated at some 20 million crowns.
“The expert opinion was worked out by Ivo Dvorak on the basis of knowledge from the tasting of selected wines. The sum was calculated according to the catalogues of auction houses and this is why it is a mere appraisal value,” Grecmanova said.
An expert points out that the minimum price of the wine collection is 7.7 million crowns. However, if the documents of the wines to prove their exclusive character were found, the collection value would amount to 30 million crowns.
Sommeliers tasted selected wines from the collection in May. They found their quality surprisingly high despite their age. The fact that the bottles were buried under the ground for dozens of years did them good.
“The sale of the wines is out of question. For the time being, the bottles are placed in a depository at the Becov state castle and chateau under suitable conditions and their state is regularly checked. An expert council will be set up soon to decide on how to handle the wines in the future,” Grecmanova said.
The wines that will be provably “dead” will become part of a new display with the reliquary of St. Maur.
The reliquary, made on the order of the Benedictine monastery in Florennes, Belgium, for the relics of St. Maur, St. Timothy and St. John Baptist in the first quarter of the 13th century, got into the ownership of the Beaufort noble family, living in Becov.
They collaborated with the Nazis and had to leave Czechoslovakia after WWII. Before they left, they hid the reliquary under the floor of the castle chapel.
The valuable artifact as well as the wine collection were uncovered after a strenuous search by a team of detectives in 1985.