How deep is your cellar? If it’s deep enough, you might have exactly what Charles Krug Winery is looking for, the oldest bottle of their wine. Empty or full, dating either from pre-Prohibition or the Peter Mondavi Family era which began with the 1944 vintage, they want it. As the winery nears their 150th anniversary, they want to put the bottles on display as part of a history exhibit for first winery of Napa Valley. More information from the winery can be found below:
In time for the 150th anniversary of Napa Valley’s first winery, the Peter Mondavi Sr. Family announces a search for the oldest Charles Krug Winery bottle in existence. Founded in 1861, Charles Krug Winery is the birthplace of the Napa Valley wine industry and has been in the Peter Mondavi Family for nearly 70 of its 150 years.
Peter Mondavi Jr. puts his family winery’s history in perspective: “Charles Krug was founded the year President Lincoln was inaugurated, and the year the Civil War began.” At the time, Napa Valley was essentially the Wild West. Charles Krug first planted Mission grapes on his St. Helena estate but he soon replanted to European varietals which he felt would make better wine. Wines made at the time would have likely included claret, sherry, Madeira, sweet tokay and riesling, the latter hugely popular with many of the German immigrant-winemakers in Napa Valley in the late 1800’s.
Readers are encouraged to scour their wine cabinets, cellars, closets and caves for Charles Krug wine bottles, empty or full, dating either from pre-Prohibition or the Peter Mondavi Family era which began with the 1944 vintage. Bottles deemed contenders will be authenticated by experts in the wine department of Sotheby’s auction house in New York. The Peter Mondavi Family may purchase the winning bottle for display at the winery.
Plans are for an exhibit of historic artifacts from Charles Krug Winery, which will include a towering 9000-gallon vintage redwood fermentation tank and Charles Krug’s original basket press, which he used to crush the first harvest at his fledgling winery. The estate’s Redwood Cellar will house the exhibit. The huge structure with its many-gabled roof and impressive belvedere was built by Charles Krug in 1873 after his original cellar burned to the ground. On the National Register of Historic Places and a California Historic Landmark, the Redwood Cellar was restored recently to hold the Peter Mondavi Family’s reserve barrel aging room. The Cellar will eventually house the winery’s new tasting room and visitor’s center.
If you think you have what they’re looking for, go to their Facebook and tell them about your bottles and post a photo. Don’t have Facebook? Email them at email@example.com. Submissions must be in by December 31, 2011.