Last weekend, 350 lucky individuals were offered a rare glimpse inside one of the world’s most exclusive wine cellars. As part of France’s annual Heritage Days celebration, President Emmanuel Macron opened the doors of the Elysée Palace wine cellar to the public for the very first time.
The cellar is home to around 14,000 bottles of wine, half of which are from Bordeaux, with a quarter from Burgundy, the Telegraph reports. The remaining quarter represents all of the other French regions. There is, apparently, no room for international imports.
Among the impressive selection are world-renowned producers, such as Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Puligny-Montrachet, and heavily-aged bottles including a 1906 Sauternes. The cellar is maintained at an optimal 55 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure wines are kept in prime condition.
Virginie Routis has been the Elysée Palace’s sommelier for the past 11 years. Her job includes carefully pairing wines for official dinners, and restocking the cellar with the finest vintages.
“The wine is chosen according to the menu. I make a selection…Madame and Monsieur Macron also get to approve the choice. We really have to represent French gastronomy so you have to choose wines that speak to a given foreign delegation,” Routis told Europe 1 radio.
President Macron is famously fond of wine, and reportedly drinks a glass with lunch and dinner every day. While the 350 palace visitors were offered a glimpse of the previously-unseen cellar, the tour, sadly, stopped short of a Presidential tasting.