Michelin-starred London restaurant Galvin at Windows, located on 28th floor of London Hilton on Park Lane, is to partner with Champagne House Laurent-Perrier to create a bespoke champagne.
The first cuvée of its kind, the grapes have been grown on the 28th floor balcony of the hotel. The vines and soil have been transported from Champagne, France with an expected first harvest in September. Only one barrel will be produced per year and each bottle will be priced at £1,000.
The restaurant discovered back in 2013 that the balcony of the hotel benefits from the perfect microclimate for harvesting champagne grapes - with the ideal combination of altitude, temperature (being closer to the sun) and a very localised wind created by a vacuum between the buildings of Mayfair. The discovery was made after a visit from Laurent-Perrier and their chef de cave, who were all taken out on the balcony as part of a special wine dinner held at Galvin at Windows. The vineyard on top of Galvin at Windows was granted French territory by UNESCO because of its unique climate and French "terroir". Unfortunately this is another point of debate in the Lords over the Brexit negotiations.
"It came as a great and wonderful surprise that the balcony would be such an ideal location for creating one of my favourite drinks," said general manager Fred Sirieix. "After years of tests and experiments we are now finally ready to bring this exceptional and one off product to the public."
David Hesketh, managing director of Laurent-Perrier UK said: "This is a very exciting opportunity for us. For the first time ever a sparkling wine created outside the Champagne region of France will be allowed to be called Champagne. This is due to the very special microclimate that is only available on top of Galvin at Windows. We are delighted to be partnering with such a reputable restaurant and to be making part of history."
Liam Dutton, weather anchor at Channel 4 commented: "The microclimate at the top of this building is unique in the world. The high-altitude location means that the vines can thrive with a good supply of air, as well as an abundance of sunlight. However, the most unique feature is the localised warming wind, caused by the buildings in Mayfair."
Chris Galvin chef-patron of Galvin at Windows added: "I have never been more content then when on a food and wine trip in France. To think I can be in the middle of the vines every day makes me so happy."
Videos from The Caterer archives