YOUNTVILLE (CBS SF) — The Bay Area’s most famous restaurant is about to get its wine list back after the discovery of 76 bottles of stolen wine in a private cellar in North Carolina.
Crooks smashed in the door of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry restaurant in Yountville on Christmas day, making off with the rare – mostly French – bottles, which included Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Screaming Eagle.
An online wine list shows the bottles sell for $3,250 to $7,950, meaning the total value was somewhere around $300,000. At the time of the theft, the Napa County Sheriff provided an inventory of the stolen labels.
Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Pike says all but a couple of the bottles were recovered in a private collection in Greensboro, North Carolina this week, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Investigators provided few other details other than to indicate that sophisticated tracking methods were used to get the wine back. Some of the stolen bottles are known to carry laser signatures on corks and other distinguishing characteristics to curb counterfeiting.
The restaurant was closed for renovations over the holidays when the theft occurred.
Other Bay Area restaurant owners have suggested that there is a ring of bottle bandits targeting high end collections in the Bay Area, including a break-in attempt at a Walnut Creek restaurant the night before the French Laundry heist.