The Merlot spent more than a year aboard the International Space Station, and returned just last January.
A few days ago, Christie’s announced an out-of-this-world item that is now available by private sale: a bottle of Pétrus 2000, which spent 14 months in space.
Made with Merlot grapes from the French region of Bourdeaux, the wine was on board the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a series of experiments undertaken by Space Cargo Unlimited.
This bottle of Pétrus 2000 marks a momentous step in the pursuit of developing and gaining a greater understanding of the maturation of wine,” says Tim Triptree MW, international director, Christie’s Wine & Spirits Department. “Christie’s is delighted to bring this first of its kind bottle to the market and to support Space Cargo Unlimited to continue their research into the future of agricultural practices.”
Currently belonging to Jean-François Moueix and his children, Château Pétrus produces wine in the Pomerol appellation. Its bottles are among the most expensive in the world, with a 750ml Pétrus priced on average upwards of $2,600.
The space-aged Pétrus, on the other hand, is expected to go far beyond that, and could fetch for a cool million.
Whoever will be able to purchase the Astro-Petrus will also get a terrestrial Pétrus 2000 so that he or she can compare the taste.
The space traveling wine comes in a unique trunk, which is handcrafted by Maison d’Arts Les Ateliers Victor as well as a decanter, glasses and a corkscrew made from a meteorite. The Jules Vernes-inspired trunk took 900 hours of work to make, and contains elements of Star Trek in its design.
Space Cargo Unlimited Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Gaume says that they are thrilled by this partnership with Christie’s, sharing that it will contribute to future space exploration.
“The proceeds of the sale will allow us to continue Mission WISE, six experiments in space to help invent the agriculture and food we need for tomorrow on Earth,” he says. “It is our conviction that there is no Planet B and we intend to pave the way for our future by leveraging microgravity and enticing accelerated natural evolutions in a spatial environment. The product of the sale will help attain our objectives.”
Space Cargo Unlimited worked with Thales Alenia Space and Nanoracks in sending 12 bottles of wine to the ISS on November 2019 aboard a Cygnus capsule. It came back to Earth a couple of week after 2021 started in a Dragon spacecraft.
Two months after its return, a panel of wine experts and scientists analyzed the bottles at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin in Bordeaux. Differences in aroma, color, and taste were noted by the panel, who remarked at the space-aged wine’s complexity.
For more information, visit Christie’s website.