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Spain’s El Bulli wine cellar to be sold at auction

A general view of Cala Montjoi where the world-renowned El Bulli restaurant was located near Roses, Spain before it closed last year.

© Albert Gea/Reuters

More than 8,800 bottles of wines from the cellar of Spain's world-renowned El Bulli restaurant will be auctioned in Hong Kong and New York next year in sales that could exceed $1-million (U.S.), Sotheby's said on Wednesday.

The award-winning restaurant, headed by celebrated chef Ferran Adria for 27 years, was regarded by many as the best restaurant in the world. Before closing last year to make way for the El Bulli Foundation which will open in 2014, the restaurant had earned three Michelin stars among numerous other accolades for its gastronomic inventions and unusual dishes.

Proceeds from the sales will benefit the foundation.

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Mr. Adria described the wines, which will be sold in Hong Kong on April 3 and New York on April 26 "as an exceptional and unique collection."

He said in a statement that after El Bulli transformed from a restaurant to a foundation, "we decided this very special and personal collection should be used to make a founding contribution to help ensure the successful launch of the El Bulli Foundation."

The wine cellar was created by Juli Soler, who has been the director of El Bulli since 1981 and was instrumental in bringing Mr. Adria to the restaurant that was founded 50 years ago.

Among the highlights of the sales will be 2,000 bottles of Spanish wine, including six vintages of Vega Sicilia "Unico" from 1987 to 1996, 415 bottles of Château de Beaucastel, as well as full cases of bottles and magnums of Château Latour 2005 and three bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée Conti 1990, which have a pre-sale estimate of $32,500 to $47,500.

The El Bulli Foundation will focus on creativity and the study of innovative food processes. All of its findings will be listed on the new Bullpedia website.

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