A straight translation from the DN.
Restoration works at the Liberty Hall Museum in New Jersey led to an unexpected discovery: more than 50 bottles and 42 bottles of Madeira wine, dating back to 1769, embedded behind a wall built during Lei-Seca.
And the historians and experts at the American museum say it’s the oldest collection of Madeira wine in the United States: “We had no idea the bottles were there,” said John Kean, president of the museum. “We expected to find wine, but we had no idea of the date. It was a big surprise, “he told CNN.
The museum, currently owned by Kean University in New Jersey, is undergoing major refurbishment. It was formerly known only as Liberty Hall and was the home of William Livingston, the first governor-elect in New Jersey, and a signatory of the Constitution. The house was built in 1772, before the American Revolution, and originally had 14 rooms. In 1811 it happened to be property of Kean family.
Now, they decided that the mansion’s wine cellar should be the subject of analysis and recovery. Because of the Dry Law, the wine cellar was hidden behind a wall: “First we had to throw the wall down. We put the room through a complete survey – analysis of paints, mortar, bricks, to realize what needed to be repaired, “said Bill Schroh, director of operations at CNN. It was after this phase that, he says, they found “the incredible collection of Madeira”.
Remodelling work took six months and museum workers found even more bottles of wine and bottles in the attic of the house, hidden underneath thatch. At the time, the bottles were often used for wine transport and storage.
Wine bottles Madeira’s private collection of Robert Lenox – millionaire and wine importer in New York – were also among the breakthrough. Lenox died in 1839 and, says the president of Rare Wine Co, “none of this [the Madeira wine bottles] exists.” Mannie Berk believes they can reach $ 20,000. The museum has not revealed for now what the maximum value the new discovery can achieve.