The business acumen of the English Court

In May 1991 the outstanding 1990 vintage was put on to the market. One of the most prestigious London merchants enquired about their usual quantity of 120 bottles of Abtsberg. The availability of the wine was immediately confirmed, but no formal order was made. In November a shipping order for the wine finally arrived, but by this stage Grünhaus was forced to reply that it had unfortunately sold out.

After a brief interval, a letter arrived from London in an unusually sharp tone, pointing out that, as usual, 120 bottles of the Abtsberg Kabinett were required for the cellar at Buckingham Palace, and that the Royal Family has no intention of missing out on the 1990 vintage.

With great courtesy, Grünhaus offered 120 bottles of the Abtsberg Spätlese, which was fortunately still in stock, at a lower price than the Kabinett, in order to placate this prestigious customer.

The response from London was swift and entirely unexpected: ‘Buckingham Palace is very happy with this offer, and in this case wishes to increase its order of the Spätlese from 120 to 240 bottles.’

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