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Podcast

Monaco, a wine producer? It’s official

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Gennaro Iorio, head cellarman at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo © Radio Monaco

In a recent Radio Monaco podcast, Gennaro Iorio, head cellar man at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo tells the story of the wine called Nectar de Monaco

There are no vineyards in Monaco, and yet, in 2013, a unique cuvée called Nectar de Monaco was produced..

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The history of this natural sweet wine dates back to the 150th anniversary of the Société des Bains de Mer, when it organised an event entitled ‘150 years, 150 wines, 150 days’. To mark the occasion, 150 bottles of Nectar de Monaco were made, and are now scattered around the world.

Giulia Testaverde of Radio Monaco spoke to Gennaro Iorio, head cellarman at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, who harvested the 230 kilos of grapes that went into making Nectar de Monaco in 2013. He explains how the prestigious vintage was created, and where at least one of the remaining bottles can be found.

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A ‘pop-up vineyard’ as it might be called today was created on the Place du Casino by landscape architect Jean Mus. 300 vine plants were replanted in the former ‘camembert’, in containers. There were 4 grape varieties : Cardinal, Black Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria and Chasselas. People were a little surprised to see the Place du Casino turned into a vineyard, especially when the grapes started to appear!” said Iorio. 

The vines were tended by the agronomist from the Château Crémat in Nice, who kept a close eye on the ‘vineyard’ until the grape harvest kicked off on 10 September 2013, right in the centre of Monaco!

250 kilos of grapes were picked and taken to Château de Crémat. The result was a natural sweet wine. “We managed to produce 150 half-bottles, individually numbered and mostly given out to the Princely Family and a number of VIP hotel guests,” Iorio recalls.

But the story doesn’t end there. One day, a customer at the Hôtel Hermitage asked for a bottle. He was none other than the Director of the Cité Mondial du Vin (CMV) ,which had just opened in Bordeaux, and he wanted a bottle to display at the Cité.

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Listen to the podcast (French language)

Later, when the Sovereign visited the CMV, the mayor was able to show the Prince that Monaco was officially mentioned in the Cité Mondiale du Vin as a wine producer.

Asked if it there might be another Nectar de Monaco in a few years , Iorio answered “Well I like to hope so. If someone has a plot of land available, I could give it a try!”

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