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Champagner Wrack JÖNKÖPING


Champagner Wrack "JÖNKÖPING"

On 3 November 1916, the "Jönköping", a Swedish schooner which was built in 1896, was on its way from Gävle to Raumo - then part of the Russian Empire - when it was intercepted and sunk by the German submarine “U 22”.

Two thirds of the ship’s cargo, which was destined for the Tsar’s army, consisted of Bordeaux and cognac. There were also fifty cases of champagne in the hold, each containing 100 bottles.

For eighty years the ship lay at the bottom of the Baltic off the Finnish coast, until in 1997 we started to retrieve the cargo as part of an international salvage team.

The constant water temperature of 4C and the pressure at a depth of 64 metres, which was precisely the same as that inside the bottles, had ensured that the corks in the champagne bottles were still firmly in place.

Tom Stevenson, author of "The World Encyclopaedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine", is convinced that the conditions at the bottom of the Baltic Sea were ideal for the champagne, allowing it mature far better than if it had been stored in the deepest vaults in the Champagne. He was ecstatic after tasting this 1907 vintage goût Américain wine by Heidsiek & Co.