This story has been updated to reflect relief efforts in place to support rebuilding the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.
As French authorities deal with the aftermath of the devastating fire that has badly damaged the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, another landmark of French history is in need of restoration—and esteemed French winery Chateau Mouton Rothschild is taking a novel approach to funding both. Tomorrow's Sotheby's auction in London of the 25 cases of rare vintage wines will now benefit efforts to rebuild the historic Paris cathedral.
Yesterday's fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame all but desecrated the famed Gothic cathedral. The oldest building of its size in Paris, construction began on the cathedral in the year 1163. While the Palace of Versailles is certainly not the oldest structure in France, it's among the largest and most historically significant builds of its kind. Adapted from the former hunting lodge of Louis XIII by his son, Louis XIV, the sprawling estate encompasses nearly 2,000 acres. In the palace, 2,300 rooms span 679,000 square-feet of interior space.
But the expert touch required to maintain—and in the case of Notre-Dame, rebuild—such a historic property comes at a price. In the first partnership of its kind, French winery Chateau Mouton Rothschild will use the proceeds from its auction of its remaining 50 limited-edition vintage cases of wine at Sotheby's to benefit both the rebuilding of Notre-Dame and the restoration of the Royal Apartments and the Trianon Gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
The cases feature five vintage wines with labels designed by artists Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Giuseppe Penone, Bernar Venet, and Lee Ufan. The storied winery has a unique history of partnering with contemporary artists, and in the past has worked with both Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Furthermore, the artists who designed the labels for the bottles available at auction have all displayed works in art exhibitions at the Palace of Versailles.
A total of 50 cases will be available at international Sotheby's auctions in London on April 17 and New York City on May 4. The proceeds from tomorrow's London auction will go towards funding the efforts to rebuild the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. The first international Sotheby's auction of 25 cases of wine took place in Hong Kong on April 1, bringing in an astounding $904,261USD. Successful bidders will be extended an invitation to a private visit and tasting at Château Mouton Rothschild, as well as the upcoming Versailles Celebration Gala Dinner at the Palace of Versailles on September 21. Of course, vintage Château Mouton Rothschild—from 1945, to be specific—will be served during the gala.
Fit for a King: Consider staying at one of these five gorgeously renovated luxury hotels in Paris next time you head to the City of Light.