Our Hidden Treasure – The Wine Cellar
More than 80 years ago, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris opened as a truly glamorous Paris hotel destination, just steps from the Champs Elysées. A hotel of this calibre demanded the world’s best collection of wines and spirits, so the property’s construction included the design of a wine cellar that could house such a collection.
But times were uncertain, and the Second World War was brewing. Wanting to ensure that the wines would be safe during unrest, builders installed the Hotel’s unique secret wine cellar 14 metres (45 feet) below the ground.
Workers also made sure that the cellar, created in the area of a stone quarry that was used to help build Paris’s famous Arc de Triomphe, received extra bolstering around its walls.
Sure enough, in a testament to its creators, the cellar remained intact throughout the War and afterwards, and was in use until the property was sold in 1997 and its bottles were auctioned off.
But thanks to the dedication of the new Four Seasons management team, a talented sommelier was found to help rebuild the wine cellar for Le Cinq, the new restaurant. Eric Beaumard not only met but exceeded that challenge. Silver medal winner of the World's Best Sommelier championship in 1998, Beaumard developed a wine list brimming with local and international wines: 50,000 bottles in all. The oldest bottle is a 1792 Madeira, and the most expensive is a magnum Petrus 1964, ringing in at 40,000 euros. Each year, the list is reinvigorated with 20 new selections, ensuring that it is one of the most well-stocked in the city.
Decades after its cellar cache was first created, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and its perfectly preserved wine cellar stand out as an intriguing part of the city’s rich history.