BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 09:16 GMT
Brandy matured in Napoli barrels
A bottle of Shipwreck cider brandy
Mr Temperley said the brandy had a 'romantic' tale behind it
Cider brandy matured in barrels from the shipwrecked MSC Napoli has gone on sale in Somerset.

The cargo ship ran aground off the Devon coast in January, spilling dozens of containers into the sea.

Somerset Distillery said it obtained, with permission of the Receiver of Wrecks, several Allier barrels destined for South Africa to age fine wines.

They had been protected from sea water by a consignment of bibles written in Zulu, said distiller Julian Temperley.

'Romantic story'

The Napoli was deliberately grounded in Lyme Bay in January after it was damaged in a storm. The ship's 26-man crew was rescued by helicopter.

The wreck attracted scavengers taking everything from personal belongings to BMW bike parts.

Mr Temperley travelled to Branscombe beach after seeing barrels floating ashore on television news pictures.

He said the good ones had already been snapped up by a Yeovil man, from whom he bought an undisclosed number.

Although we got them dirt cheap, the real saving is in the romance and the mystery of the story
Julian Temperley, distiller

"The barrels in the water were no good, but the ones we had were locked together with bibles in the Zulu language, which kept the containers afloat," he said.

"We put 10 year-old cider brandy in them and not only is the product brilliant, the story is lovely.

"Each barrel is worth between 300 and 400, but although we got them dirt cheap, the real saving is in the romance and the mystery of the story."

The Shipwreck Single Cask Ten Year Old Cider Brandy costs 28 a bottle.

The barrels are said to have added a "sophisticated and subtle oak finish" to the spirit.

Police crack down on scavengers
23 Jan 07 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific