Top Five Wine Robberies

Apart from diamonds and cars, wine is apparently also a valuable steal. Regardless of what seems would be a difficult procedure, thieves from around the world have managed to leave chateaus, restaurants and wineries with a much smaller collection.


WineCollective staff are saddened by some of these recent heists as we truly value the winemaking of all wineries affected. Here some of the most notorious.

Chateau d’Yquem. Bordeaux, France
While this heist is not technically one of the largest, it is the most recent. Earlier this month, this winery considered to be a producer of some of the world’s greatest sweet white wines was robbed of 380 half bottles. Although the stolen vintage was not particularly exceptional, each bottle was worth nearly $400, making the total lost value 100,000 Euros. These thieves were quick and managed to escape after an alarm was triggered and before police arrived at the scene.


Ulriksdals Wärdshus Restaurant. Stockholm, Sweden
In August 2006, a collection that held records in the Guinness Book of Records was taken by thieves managing to only leave one fingerprint. 600 bottles of First Growth Bordeaux totaling $485,000 was cleared from the prestigious Stockholm restaurant. Thankfully, this collection was insured.

En Route. New South Wales, Australia
Recently in May 2013, a transportation service realized 62,000 bottles of South Australian wine was missing, four kilometers from their warehouse destination. Fortunately for the thieves each bottle was clear skinned or unlabeled, making it easy to re-sell their stolen wine which had a retail value of $500,000. Various wineries were affected including, Gemtree Vineyards, Lakebreeze Wines, Zontes Footstep and Dandelion Vineyards.


Warehouse. London, England
400 cases were stolen from a large London warehouse in May 2011 after cameras and security alarms were disabled. Thieves managed to forklift collections, most of which belonged to private investors. A value of 1.6 million dollars of wine was stolen.

Legends Cellars. Orange County CA, United States
In 2012, employee George Osumi was charged with stealing wine from customer’s lockers since 2008. By replacing Legends Cellars wines with none other than Two Buck Chuck, Osumi was able to delay getting caught for four years. While his son is also an employee, he was not involved and cooperated willingly with police for his father’s 2.7 million dollar crime against wine.


From 2008-2012 George Osumi replaced customer’s wine with Two Buck Chuck

Unfortunately these are just a few of what seems to be an increasing crime. Theft with wine occurs in many forms including sales of fake bottles. We encourage you to report any wine-related crimes. The experience of wine is meant to be shared, not stolen.