French Laundry wine recovered in North Carolina 

click to enlarge Wine stolen from The French Laundry in Napa Valley on Christmas Day was found in North Carolina earlier this week. - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo
  • Wine stolen from The French Laundry in Napa Valley on Christmas Day was found in North Carolina earlier this week.

More than $300,000 in world-class wine stolen from a famed Napa Valley, California, restaurant has been recovered from a private cellar in North Carolina.

The wine was stolen on Christmas night from the French Laundry restaurant, which is rated three stars in the Michelin guide and has twice been named the best in the world by Restaurant Magazine.

Napa County sheriff's Capt. Doug Pike says it's unclear how the 76 bottles of mainly rare French wine ended up in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported ( No arrests have been made. Officials from the Greensboro Police Department were not immediately available for comment Friday.

The stolen wine included Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a single bottle of which can cost up to $10,000. Winery owners use laser and digital technology on its corks and capsules to curb counterfeiting and theft. An online wine list shows the bottles sell for $3,250 to $7,950 at the restaurant. Screaming Eagle wines, one of the most highly sought-after American wines, were also stolen.

On Monday, after a nearly monthlong investigation, analysis of forensic evidence, and numerous interviews, Napa County Sheriff's detectives traveled to Greensboro to recover the majority of the wines stolen from the restaurant. The investigation is ongoing.

The sheriff's office will be working with state and federal law enforcement authorities to following up on leads developed in case, Pike said. He declined further comment.

The theft occurred on Christmas evening or night at Chef Thomas Keller's famed restaurant, which is known for twice daily serving nine-course tasting menus, none of which uses the same ingredient more than once. In 2003 and 2004, the French Laundry was named best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine. The restaurant had closed one day earlier for a six-month kitchen remodel.

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