Wine worth 1.5 million euros stolen from Paris restaurant

A spectacular theft shakes the Parisian restaurant "La Tour d'Argent"; over 80 wines worth 1.5 million euros have disappeared. Among them is a bottle from the best vineyard in the world: Romanée Conti.

In a spectacular theft, more than 80 bottles of fine wines with a total value of 1.5 million euros have disappeared from the famous Parisian restaurant "La Tour d'Argent". The restaurant, not only known for its excellent cuisine, also served as the source of inspiration for the Pixar animated film "Ratatouille " - and is home to one of the oldest wine cellars in the city.

What is surprising is how the alleged theft came to light. The lack of fine wines was discovered during an inventory that was carried out as part of the restaurant's reopening. A huge challenge in itself, given the extensive wine stock that has accumulated over almost 400 years. According to the restaurant, the printed wine list weighs around eight kilogrammes.

The stolen wines included a precious bottle from the Romanée Conti vineyard; one of the best in the world. The bottle from the 1945 vintage achieved a record price of 482,000 euros at an auction in 2018.

Police face a mystery

The restaurant, which has been located on the banks of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement since the 16th century, can look back on a long history. During the Second World War, the restaurant manager at the time hid valuable bottles from the Nazis by erecting a partition wall in the cellar.

What makes the current investigation even more difficult is that there is no evidence or signs of burglary, nor can the exact time of the theft be determined. The last census took place in 2020, so the wines could have been stolen at any time since then. A sommelier at the restaurant emphasised that the stolen bottles were numbered, which made it difficult to resell them. Nevertheless, the precious bottles have not yet turned up and the police are faced with a mystery.

The wine industry in Paris has had to contend with an increasing number of thefts in recent years. Rare wine bottles are not only regarded as collector's items and prestige objects, but are also increasingly becoming the focus of criminal activities. In 2019, wines worth half a million euros were stolen from the Maison Rostang restaurant in Paris. The thieves had drilled a hole in the wall of the wine cellar from a building site.

Don't miss out!

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Anna Wender
Anna Wender
Find out more