France's CMA CGM Group, the world's third-largest containership operator, has come up with a truly unique way to demonstrate the effectiveness of refrigerated container transport. In early June at the ChÃ¢teau du clos de Vougeot, 420 bottles of fine wines from Burgundy (with vintages from 2007 to 2010) were loaded into a refrigerated container that maintains the wine at a constant 15 degrees C (59 F) and sent on their merry way.
After a three-month trip around the world via the Panama and Suez canals, with stops in Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, North Africa, and Europe, the wines arrived back in Le Havre on Sept. 17.
The trip was organized by CMA CGM, the wine and spirits producer JF Hillebrand, and the 300-year-old Burgundian wine enthusiast group ConfrÃ©rie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Brotherhood of the Knights of the Wine Cup). The purpose: to promote the wines of Burgundy while demonstrating that "container transport perfectly preserves wine's aromas and flavors," CMA CGM says.
So how did the temperature-controlled voyage go? We'll have to let you know. In mid-October, the ConfrÃ©rie des Chevaliers du Tastevin will hold a wine tasting, where members will compare the well-traveled bottles with the same wines that were stored in a traditional wine cellar while their counterparts sailed the seven seas.