Wine collections are a hobby that take time, but will ultimately reap the most rewarding fruit. Amassing a large collection of the best wines makes these wine collections remarkable, and a must visit if you’ll be dropping by any time soon.
10 Aubrey McClendon – 2,000 bottles
The Chesapeake Energy Corporation CEO, Aubrey McClendon, is one of the largest land owners in the United States, and has also collected quite a bit of wine over the years. He stores his wine collection in three cellars across the country, and which he also auctions off as the “Aubrey McClendon Wine Collection”. The energy tycoon received a salary of $112 million dollars in 2008, becoming the highest paid CEO in the United States as well the highest paid CEO in all Standard and Poor companies.
9 Charlie Trotter – 4,000 bottles
Renowned food icon Charlie Trotter amassed a collection of 4,000 wine bottles before he put it up for auction with Christie’s. The collection even features large-format wine bottles, which are called such because they are so large that they require special equipment such as cranks and cradles to carry and transport. While most wines come in 750 ml bottles, Trotter’s collection has a significant number of premium wines that come in 1.5 liters.
8 Leslie Rudd – 10,000 bottles
Restaurateur Leslie Rudd holds a collection of 10,000 bottles of Napa valley wines for his restaurant named Press. When he started his collection, Leslie worked with husband and wife team Kelli White and Scott Brenner, both of whom are sommeliers. Leslie’s Napa wine collection is now an impressive array of every type of wine imaginable produced in the region.
7 Tour d’Argent – 15,000 bottles
Tour d’ Argent is widely recognized among the wine community as having the greatest wine list in France. Located in Paris, the restaurant has the reputation of having guests arrive hours before dinner just to have a good read at the wine selection. In fact, the actual full wine list weighs a staggering 9 kilograms. The cellar specializes in old wines, with the youngest wine on the list being a 2003. Tour d’Argent’s sommelier enjoys buying the wines young, and storing them until they are ready to drink.
6 Tawfiq Khoury – 65,000 bottles
Tawfiq Khoury’s collection was auctioned off through Christie’s as he was doing some spring cleaning, but before the sales, he was holding 65,000 bottles of wine. Christie’s estimated that the wines were worth $2.5 million, although an exact figure wasn’t revealed. For a time, he had one of the largest private collections in the United States, which were useful in his younger years when he and his wife used to throw a lot of dinner parties. Since he traveled more with his wife, he decided to sell the other wines.
5 Restaurant Latour – 100,000 bottles
Gene Mulvihill owns one of the largest wine collections in the world; displayed in Restaurant Latour, a restaurant he co-owns in New Jersey. According to Milvihill, every single bottle of wine is chosen exclusively because it’s one of the best; with no fillers in his cellar. The collection even features 90 vintages, with the oldest dating back to 1890, although he guarantees that no wines in the cellar have been damaged due to cork taint, or oxidation. The cellar is also home to a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technology laboratory, which helps them analyze individual wines without the need to disrupt their aging or will flaw them from opening. The equipment was manufactured at the University of California, and was funded my Mulvhill so that he could easily determine chemical components and acetic acid content of the wine. Beyond the laboratory, visitors will find that each cellar’s cave represents a wine-producing country or region, and holds hundreds of varieties from there.
4 Bodega 1860 – 129,000 bottles
Bodega 1860 is located in Spain’s Basque Country, a town brimming with art, culture, and gastronomy. The collection features wines that include vintages from the 1860’s, with just a handful of those bottles left around. Even during the civil war, the winery continued to produce wines, so it’s not surprising that bottles from that era are also available. However, only VIP’s are able to actually sample the wines, including local political and religious leaders.
3 Graycliff Hotel – 250,000 bottles
Graycliff Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas, is home to the world’s third largest wine collection. The hotel is named after Captain Howard Graysmith, a pirate of the Caribbean who built the Graycliff mansion back in 1740. Graycliff is also one of the 75 restaurants in the world who have had the distinction of being awarded the Wine Spectator Grand Award, and they are the only establishment in the Caribbean to do so. The current owner, Italian Enrico Garzaoli, has also added 12,000 bottles of wine from Italy to the collection.
2 Bern’s Steakhouse – 500,000 bottles
Tampa, Florida is where you’ll find the second biggest wine collection in the world. It was founded in 1956 and is still operated by David Laxer, who is the son of the original owner. The staff even recently discovered a gem among the stacks of wine: a $30,000 bottle of 1947 Chateau Latour, one of the most expensive wines in the world. Bern’s Steakhouse has a sister restaurant named Side Bern’s, as well as a a wine and liquor store. It has received recognition for the size of its wine collection, even George Bush dined at Bern’s twice during his term.
1 Milestii Mici – 2 million bottles
The world’s biggest winery is an underground wine city, which stretches as far as 250 kilometers. The cellar complex is a maze, where streets are named after various types of wine which include Sauvignon, Cabernet, etc. A car is needed to drive from one part of the winery to the other, and the cellar’s own employees use a bike to travel within the winery. Milestii Mici is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the size of its wine collection. The breakdown of wines within the cellar is 70% red wine, 20% white, and 10% dessert.