Lending a Helping Hand...With Pleasure

The Hattenheim/Rheingau wine estate Balthasar Ress would like to contribute to a good cause and appeals to socially committed wine enthusiasts and divers to join in. The estate will “sink” one Balthazar @ 12 liters and 18 magnums @ 1.5 liters each 18 m/59 ft below sea level to contribute to the South African project “Wein hilft” (“Wine Helps”) organized by Berlin-based, British wine journalist Stuart Piggot. Twelve of the magnums can be acquired immediately via eBay prior to their “sinking” on 8 June 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to the charity. The remaining magnums and Balthazar will remain the property of Balthasar Ress for the time being. Wine estate proprietor Christian Ress, who scuba dives as a hobby, and the team of his former diving instructor, Toni Eichler, proprietor of “Toni’s Dive Station,” a diving school in Wiesbaden, will place the bottles in secure steel boxes that will be chained to the floor of a quarry pond in Diez on the Lahn River. The boxes will protect the wines from ultraviolet rays, and the pond offers a constant temperature – perfect conditions for the wines to mature. Everyone is welcome to attend the “sinking of the treasures” and buyers who are licensed divers are also welcome to participate in the dive.

Lending a helping hand can be a pleasure. The charity “Wein hilft,” organized by Stuart Piggot and project manager Pauline Schneider, has raised more than 55,000 Euro (ca. 66,700 US$ or 46,600 £) in contributions for HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa. Christian Ress would like to add to these funds by auctioning his estate’s top Riesling cuvée: RESSpekt is sourced from the finest grapes of the Rüdesheimer Berg, where the steepest parcels of the Rheingau (up to 70% slope) are located.  Vintage 2009 was fermented without the addition of cultured yeast, and in order to preserve its individual character, it was not clarified or fined. For this reason, RESSpekt must always be stored at a cool temperature – which led to the idea of

the dive. Together with Toni Eichler, Christian Ress found the ideal place to store his treasure: the Diez quarry pond. It lies at the base of steep limestone cliffs, and is known for the purity of its water and strict ecological regulations surrounding its use. Its depth provides optimal storage temperatures of ca. 6°C/42.8°F. In all, top conditions for wine storage...and this, for a good cause.

This extraordinary method of wine storage is not unique. Other renowned estates have done so, too, such as the Champagne house Roederer. They “sank” bottles 15 m/49 ft below sea level in the Bay of Mont St. Michel in the Atlantic.

Bidding via eBay articles no.

 180514017489,                     180514018031,                      18051401598,

180514016430,                      180514017172,                      180514018757,

180514018517,                      180514016860,                      180514014072,

180514004405,                      180514750257,                      180514750764

are now open. Minimum bid is €125,00 per magnum – equal in price to the “unsunk” version of the wine. Everyone can join in. Those who do not have an eBay account can place bids through wine broker Stefan Gerhard by phone or e-mail: +49 (0)6723/999-510 or info@weingut-gerhard.com. In three years, buyers will be personally invited to the salvage operation to recover the treasures. For more information, please see www.balthasar-ress.de or contact the wine estate directly: Weingut Balthasar Ress, Rheinallee 7, 65347 Hattenheim/Rheingau • Germany, tel +49 (0)6723/9195-0.


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