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Laithwaites organises wine voyage

Published:  19 April, 2011

Laithwaites Wine owner, Tony Laithwaite is to recreate history by organising a voyage of 9,000 bottles of specially made Claret from Bordeaux to London.

The SV Irene, 103ft restored wooden sailing freighter will set sail in May, 104 years after her maiden voyage.

It will carry the limited edition Le Chai wine along with winemaker, Mark Hoddy, who will accompany it for the entire journey and whose adventures can be followed via the Laithwaites website.

Tony Laithwaite and his son Will, plan to board the SV Irene in Cowes for the final leg of her journey to Butlers Wharf, London where then cargo will be transferred to Laithwaites' flagship London store, at Vinopolis.

A private fine wine auction in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support will then be held of bottles donated by Château Lafite, and Château Ausone, together with a selection from some of their own range.

Tony Laithwaite said; "Claret and the British have a shared tradition going back hundreds of years. Our 2009 Bordeaux is such a fantastic vintage I knew it deserved to be taken to Britain the old way."

"The fine wine auction at The Arch is going to raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support, which makes me even more proud of our "Le Chai Voyage," Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2009."

Another lot under the hammer will be a cookery masterclass course at the Novelli Academy in Hertfordshire - personally donated by Jean-Christophe Novelli who plans to be there on the night.