The Oldest Champagne in the World

The world’s greatest champagne discovery was made in the Finnish waters kera the Åland Islands two years ago and today I had the pleasure of meeting the young entrepreneur and driver Christian Ekström who found the ship wreck.

On 16 July 2010 Christian Ekström had been taking a group of Swedish tourist on a week’s diving trip and had some misfortune the first day. This made him change his plans and take the group to a wreck he’d found some years earlier but not inspected thoroughly. In the end of the day that day he found himself calling to the local authorities asking for permission to take up one off the hundred some wine bottles he had found.

In the following weeks he discovered that the 168 bottles were Veuve Cliquot, Juglar and Jackson and Heidsieck champagne fround around 1841 worth fortunes. The narration of hos the bottles were found and taken up from a depth of 47 meters was exciting. It had been a questions of a frozen almost lost thumb with the first bottle that had, in the end, popped open as it was already onboard their boat, and withing the reach of some plastic mugs. The wine tasted of a sweet Muscat and Christian had no idea that it was champagne.

It was another story then to find out the origins of the wine. As Christian calling Veuve Cliquot they asked for the coordinates of the shipwreck and once they got the, announced “But there’s ony water there between Sweden and Finland. What is this place you are calling from, Åland?”.

The champagne has brought both fame and fortune to this indipendent area of Åland and Christian has been their face to the world, to the hundreds of journalist and photographers. The second international Åland Champagne auction was held last Friday with a turnover of some 109,000 euros. The Veuve Cliquot found has received 85 points of experts who estimate the present equivalent, Veuve Cliquot demi-sec, to 86 points. The old champagnes makes grown men (and women) cry – to be able to taste something that old and precius. Christian had also brought a bottle. Think, you find a wreck loaded with champagne worth thousands and yet you need to pay to get yourself a bottle.
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Of you ever come to Finland or Sweden you must come to Åland. It lays in the Baltic Sea and actually consists of thousands of islands. And once you are here, ou can check out Christian’s brewery and pub Stallhagen. They brewery ekologian beer and have a leveys meny degustation. His book of tastes might be out in the stores then, too. There’s much more to Åland like the sea and cliffs, forest and pastures, apple groves, medieval stone churches and fortresses and many more.


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