Australian Country

Balancing act

It takes 152 bottles of sparkling wine to fill a bathtub. I haven’t actually tested this assertion, but it’s a piece of information I picked up on a highly informative tour of the drives, as the underground cellars at the Seppelt winery in Great Western are known. Local lore has it that opera diva Dame Nellie Melba expressed the desire to take a Champagne bath during her visit in 1909 and the then-proprietor, Hans Irvine, who clearly knew a thing or two about publicity, was only too happy to oblige. The story goes that Dame Nellie dipped a toe in the tub and declared it way too cold for bathing, so Hans promptly had the sparkling wine (as it’s now known in an appellation contrôlée world) rebottled and sold under

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