Gwyneth Paltrow champagne auction raises $66,000 for school meals charity

A case of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1911 champagne has beaten its estimate at a Christie's charity auction in the US, backed by actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

The exclusive collector's case of six 750ml bottles sold for $66,000 against a $50,000 high-end estimate at Christie's Fine & Rare Wines auction on November 19, 2011.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Lunchbox Fund; a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing a daily meal for impoverished and at-risk students in South African township high schools.

The winning bidder may also have been tempted by the potential of a dinner with actress Gwyneth Paltrow and award winning chef Mario Batali, both supporters of the charity.

Even at the time of its harvest a century ago, the 1911 vintage was recognised for its remarkable quality by the then-chef de cave of Moët & Chandon.

Presented in a black leather chest with brass fittings, the champagne had been conserved under optimum aging conditions in the château's cellars. The bottles were disgorged only in early 2011 to ensure a vintage wine of real excellence.

Grand Vintage Collection 1911 champagne
The Moët & Chandon 1911 sold for $66,000

Although it does not age as successfully as Bordeaux or Burgundy, top-grade champagne is proving a strong seller at the moment, and offers wine collectors variety for their cellars.

Charles Curtis, the head of wine sales at Christie's Asia, comments: "Collecting vintage champagne is a niche within the already-exclusive world of fine wine collectors, attracting some of the most dedicated fans in the world of rare wines."

Six bottles sold for just over $100,000 at Christie's Hong Kong in September.

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