Thieves steal wine worth £65k from luxury New Forest hotel

Thieves broke into the luxury New Forest hotel owned by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe earlier this week, stealing around 80 bottles of wine worth approximately £65,000.

A statement from the Lime Wood Hotel noted that the incident occurred in the early hours (3:38am) of Monday 11 November.

The hotel is not currently releasing details of the wines that were taken, stating only that they were of “high value”.

“The appropriate authorities have been alerted and a police investigation is underway. Approximately 80 bottles have been taken with a value of around £65,000,” the statement continued.

Hampshire police, which is investigating the theft, urged members of the public to be on the lookout for “high quality wine at a bargain price”.

The hotel boasts an extensive and award-winning wine list, picking up Taittinger Wine List of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

Numbering 34 pages, the list includes high value wines such as Screaming Eagle 1999 (£3,600 a bottle); Petrus 1994 (£3,200 a bottle); Vega Sicilia Ùnico 1994 (£1,900 a magnum), Sassicaia 2004 (£1,650 a double magnum), and Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée Conti Grand Cru 1998 (£9,600 a bottle) and 1997 (£10,000 a bottle).

In addition to its extensive fine wine collection, the wine list also has a strong Italian influence and includes wines that have been made exclusively for the hotel by the Fertuna Estate, based in Maremma, Tuscany.

The food offering is overseen by chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder who have created the hotel’s Italian restaurant Hartnett Holder & Co. Lime Wood also boasts a cookery school and hosts chef pop-ups throughout the year.

Chemical engineer billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe bought the Georgian country house in 2009, lavishing £40 million on its refurbishment including work on its interiors by the likes of David Collins, Martin Brudnizki and Rob Angell.

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