What a find: Museum discovers lost wines almost as old as the country itself

A restoration project at Liberty Hall Museum’s wine cellar unearthed spirits 221 years old that had been shipped to the sleepy Elizabethtown cottage shortly after the American Revolution.

During the six-month revamp, the museum discovered almost three cases of Madeira wine from 1796 and about 42 demijohns from the 1820s.

Some of the original Madeira stock was shipped to the second generation who lived at Liberty Hall, in anticipation of John Adams’ presidency. Although Liberty Hall President John Kean was well aware of the wine collection, he couldn’t have imagined its historical significance.

“We knew there was a lot of liquor down here, but we had no idea as to the age of it,” said Kean, first cousin to New Jersey’s former governor. “I think the most exciting part of it was to find liquor, or Madeira in this case, that goes back so far. And then trying to trace why it was here and who owned it.”

Read the entire NJ.com article here.

Originally published on July 9, 2017.

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