John D. Nuño Jr.

YOUNTVILLE (KCBS) — One of the Bay Area’s most famous restaurants had its stolen wine recovered after the discovery of 76 bottles was found in a private cellar in North Carolina last week but none it will be able to go back on the wine list just yet.

Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Pike told KCBS the wine was returned to the restaurant because it’s the best place where it could be properly stored. But, he said, the owner has been advised not to sell or open any of the bottles since it would still be needed as evidence if anyone ever faces charges for the theft.

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Thomas Keller tweeted on Thursday night a photo of some of the returned bottles thanking Napa County Sheriff’s department.

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Burglars smashed in the door of Keller’s French Laundry restaurant in Yountville on December 25th, making off with more than 50 bottles–which included Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Screaming Eagle–and was estimated to be worth about $300,000.