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WINE

Thieves pilfer €400k of fine wine from swanky Paris restaurant

Thieves have broken into the cellar of a top luxury restaurant in Paris and have made off with at least 150 bottles of prized wine estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of euros, a police source said.

Thieves pilfer €400k of fine wine from swanky Paris restaurant
Thieves broke in to the wine cellar. Photo: AFP

Employees at the Maison Rostang restaurant in the northeastern 17th district near the Arc de Triomphe discovered a 50-centimetre hole in the wall of the wine cellar that was made during the break-in on Monday, the source told AFP.  

The restaurant has two stars from the prestigious Michelin food guide and is described as having a “magnificent wine list” which includes bottles from the famed Petrus and Romanee Conti vineyards.

The cellar is currently being renovated.

The police source said the stolen wine could be worth as much as €400,000-600,000.

In 2009, French police arrested a 44-year-old man on suspicion of having stolen more than 500 bottles of fine wine worth hundreds of thousands of euros from some of the best restaurants in Paris.

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FARMING

Cold snap ‘could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent’

A rare cold snap that froze vineyards across much of France this month could see harvest yields drop by around a third this year, France's national agriculture observatory said on Thursday.

Cold snap 'could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent'
A winemaker checks whether there is life in the buds of his vineyard in Le Landreau, near Nantes in western France, on April 12th, following several nights of frost. Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

Winemakers were forced to light fires and candles among their vines as nighttime temperatures plunged after weeks of unseasonably warm weather that had spurred early budding.

Scores of vulnerable fruit and vegetable orchards were also hit in what Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie called “probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”

IN PICTURES: French vineyards ablaze in bid to ward off frosts

The government has promised more than €1 billion in aid for destroyed grapes and other crops.

Based on reported losses so far, the damage could result in up to 15 million fewer hectolitres of wine, a drop of 28 to 30 percent from the average yields over the past five years, the FranceAgriMer agency said.

That would represent €1.5 to €2 billion of lost revenue for the sector, Ygor Gibelind, head of the agency’s wine division, said by videoconference.

It would also roughly coincide with the tally from France’s FNSEA agriculture union.

Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed during a visit to damaged fields in southern France last Saturday that the emergency aid would be made available in the coming days to help farmers cope with the “exceptional situation.”

READ ALSO: ‘We’ve lost at least 70,000 bottles’ – French winemakers count the cost of late frosts

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