According to THE DRINKS BUSINESS, January 15, 2021, Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a famous French wine collector, will put his cellar collection, which he claims to be the world's finest, on display to the public at an admission price of £500.
Image courtesy of: wine dendrobium.com
For Michel-Jack Chasseuil, he has had the ambition for years to create a Louvre of wine and make it a national landmark. And Michel-Jack Chasseuil believes that his plan for a Louvre of wine will succeed, just as the French film "Brigitte Bardot" made the small town of Saint-Tropez in Southern France famous, and the town of La Chapelle-Bton, where his wine cellar is located, will be on the map in the future.
After several national organizations had rejected his idea of collecting these wines in Paris or Bordeaux, Michel-Jack Chasseuil, who has turned 79, has built a 350 square meter exhibition space three meters underground in his home in western France, where 50,000 bottles of fine wines, champagnes and spirits are displayed.
The place, which he calls the Pantheon, he designed and constructed entirely by himself, brick by brick. There are reports that in order to financially support the establishment of this project, Michel-Jack Chasseuil sold part of his collection to raise 500,000 pounds and last year built a wine cellar, lounge, café restaurant, tasting area, etc.
Michel-Jack Chasseuil started collecting in the 1960s and was able to afford to collect his first bottles of the finest Châteaux in the 1970s, when millionaires around the world started buying them. Today his collection covers many of the most prestigious chateaux in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Chile, with bottles worth thousands, even tens or hundreds of thousands of euros each, including some of the most exclusive single bottles.
Michel-Jack Chasseuil's collection is well known in wine circles and he has taken some guests to visit his first cellar in the past. Among them: Prince Albert II of Monaco, who said during his visit: "I have traveled around the world twice and seen the seven wonders of the world twice, but your collection definitely ranks among the top five wonders of the world! There are also French-American NBA star Tony Parker, as well as some interested Chinese tycoons and other wine enthusiasts. One of them had an offer of 50 million euros to buy the collection, but was turned down by Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a wine lover, because he felt it was a French national heritage.
Not only is the collection quite famous in wine circles, it has also attracted the attention of unscrupulous people. In 2014 Michel-Jack Chasseuil went through a terrible ordeal. Masked men held him at gunpoint, tortured him and threatened to kill him if he didn't tell them how to break through the collection's high-tech security system.
However, after being kidnapped for several hours and having several fingers broken, Michel-Jack Chasseuil did not give in, valuing wine more than life. In the end, the five thieves were prosecuted and sent to prison.
According to the Times, Michel-Jack Chasseuil wants to charge 500 euros per person for those who just want to see the collection, but it is impossible to taste any of the exhibits. Although there is a tasting area inside this museum, and it looks like there are some wines that might still be possible to try.
Now this rare wine cellar will be open to the public for £500, so wine enthusiasts, make it a stop on your wish list!