The Ministry of Culture announced on Sunday that a royal wine cellar filled with rare alcoholic beverages was discovered during the restoration of the palace of the Greek royal family Tatoi.
The wines that were discovered in this place are now priceless – many have original labels and are considered historically significant.
Tatoi Royal Wine Cellar excavated
Work at the famous Tatoi Palace is being carried out by the Ministry of Culture and there is no doubt that more treasures will be discovered in the former royal residence as work continues.
Archaeologists who unearthed the entrance to the royal wine cellar found over 4,000 bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages in 235 boxes. Most of these bottles are unique and of cultural and historical value. Restorers have discovered several cans of soft drinks that are from the mid-50th century.
The ministry said there are 300 cases of bottles that have not yet been opened. This means that the Tatoi Palace wine cellar probably contains treasures that remain to be discovered.
Many of the bottles found during the restoration were adorned with a special Tatoi Palace label. Courtesy of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Among the rare wines in the collection are bottles of Château Margaux, Château de Vincennes and Château Rothschild, a special series of Chivas whiskey in a ceramic bottle, launched to commemorate the enthronement of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and a collection of bottles with manor labels.
The oldest Greek winery undertook the restoration of the wine cellar of the Tatoi Palace
Some of the drinks that have been discovered and cataloged have been deemed still usable despite being kept in rather poor conditions. The Ministry of Culture turned to specialists for additional help in restoring the wine cellar of the Tatoi Palace, since special knowledge is required to properly care for alcoholic beverages.
Winery Achaia Claus decided to work on the restoration at no cost, acting as a dedicated consultant for the wine cellar. The winery has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Culture confirming the provision of these services. The head of the historical archive of the company Periklis Baltas is in charge of the work she does with the ministry.
The winery has a historical archive due to its status as the first winery in Greece. It was founded in 1861 and has been operating continuously since then.
In addition to being a modern winery, it also runs a wine museum and has a highly qualified staff who undertook to evaluate the bottles found in the Tatoi estate, group them according to rarity and condition, choosing only those that are suitable as museum pieces. Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said Sunday:
“The collection of wines and spirits by Tatoi, in addition to its significant collection value, is also of great scientific and research interest. The restoration work for the showcase of the former royal estate is complex and requires specialized knowledge in many different areas. To evaluate the collection of wines, we work with specialist scientists with know-how both at the oenological level and for its historical verification. Our goal is that after the completion of the restoration work and the transformation of the palace building into a museum, the part of the collection deemed suitable for display will find its place in the existing space of the palace basements. The collection of the Tatoi Wine Cellar, which has exceptional cultural and oenological value, will be open to the public. “