Wine Industry Pledges Hundreds of Millions to Rebuild Notre-Dame | Wine Enthusiast
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Wine Industry Pledges Hundreds of Millions to Rebuild Notre-Dame

On Monday, about 500 firefighters battled the blaze that engulfed Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral for nearly five hours.

While officials are still investigating the exact cause of the fire, many chateaus have already pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help rebuild the more than 850-year-old cathedral.

Château Mouton Rothschild and the Palace of Versailles have announced that a portion of the proceeds from Sotheby’s London sale of Château Mouton Rothschild Versailles Celebration Cases, totaling $847,575 (750,000 euros), will be donated to efforts to rebuild Notre-Dame. The auction includes the opportunity to attend a gala dinner at Versailles on September 21, 2019, during which the historic ex-cellar 1945 vintage of Château Mouton Rothschild will be served.

The proceeds were originally intended to fund restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles.

François-Henri Pinault, founder and chairman of international luxury giant Kering, whose holding arm Groupe Artémis owns wineries such as Château Latour and Château Grillet, has pledged $113 million (100 million euros) to reconstruction efforts.

Not to be outdone by their rival, competitor LVMH group has vowed to double Pinault’s donation. The owner of brands like Moët Hennessy, Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot, announced the move Tuesday.

“The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at this time of national tragedy, and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity,” the company said in a statement. They have committed a total of $226 million (200 million euros) to fund reconstruction and architectural work.

But rebuilding the UNESCO world heritage site will take more than cash donations.

According to MSN, Sylvain Charlois of Charlois Group, parent company to a number of cooperages that make barrels for wine producers across the globe, has pledged to make his wood available for repairs.

Charlois estimates that 1,300 oak trees had been used in the construction of the roof of the cathedral.

“To constitute a big enough stock of oak logs of that quality will take several years,” he says.

French President Emmanuel Macron has affirmed France’s commitment to rebuild the cathedral within five years.