Monday, July 23, 2007

War is [A Drunken] Hell

'WWI spirits' dug up in Macedonia

A remote Macedonian mountain village is at the centre of a treasure hunt for bottles of what is thought to be vintage cognac from World War I. Farmers in Gradesnica have unearthed what they say are cases of spirits from trenches once used by French soldiers.

Valued at thousands of euros a bottle, it is said to have survived a German shell strike that killed many soldiers.

The liquor could fetch at least 5,000 euros (£3,360) per bottle, according to Skopje University expert Mihail Petkov. "I don't think wine would stay drinkable after 90 years so I think it's probably cognac, as its quality improves with age. People have been coming from France to look for it."

He explained that French wine-producers once had to pay a military tax, which they met by supplying wine and spirits directly to the army.

In 1916, Gradesnica was at the heart of fighting during a drive by Allied forces to bolster Serbia and halt the advance of the Central Powers' troops.

Story from BBC NEWS

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