During the summer of 2014, my parents and I took a trip to Spain and France. During that trip I had the pleasure of seeing the largest corkscrew collection on display at the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture as well as the finest private corkscrew collection that I had ever seen. (Note that Ion Chirescu's Corkscrew Museum in Romania which opened in 2015 may now be the largest corkscrew collection on display). To read about our visit to the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, Click Here.
We rented a chateau on a working vineyard in a small town just outside of Bordeaux. The owner who had lived there and worked on the vineyard his whole life said he knew a man who had a corkscrew collection. Sure enough, after a few days he had gotten ahold of the man and secured a visit for us. We had very little information and weren’t really sure what to expect. I didn’t know if this man had 50 corkscrews or 5000, but what I found far surpassed any expectations that I had.
We pull up to this beautiful house and are greeted by a well-dressed French Gentleman and his daughter who helped to translate. He takes us to his dining room where there are two large glasses cases containing numerous rare corkscrews. There was a little bit of everything, but what particularly stood out was the large number of ancient iron corkscrews, custom made and carved ivory pieces as well as corkscrews with original shagreen cases. He told us that he had purchased the bulk of the collection from a friend of his many years ago and like all corkscrew collectors had continued to compile more pieces. You could tell that he was very proud of his collection and for good reason as just those 2 cases of corkscrews were enough to make most collectors envious.