Italy vandals destroy 62,000 bottles of vintage wine

Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:04am EST
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By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Lovers of exquisite wine wherever you are, if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

Vandals have destroyed more than 62,000 bottles worth of choice Brunello di Montalcino of the exclusive Soldera label at the Case Basse vineyard and estate in Tuscany.

In what the owners have branded as an act of Mafia-style intimidation, the vandals opened the spigots of 10 huge barrels of the produce of the last six years and let the wine go down the drain - literally.

They broke into the estate on Sunday night and when workers walked into the cantina on Monday morning they found nothing left of six years work but puddles of red liquid on the floor.

The total amount lost, according to a Soldera family statement, was 62,600 liters (16,400 gallons)

And this was no surplus supermarket stuff either - a bottle of Soldera starts about 110 euros ($140) and all of them, of course, are numbered as if they were gold bars.

The whole episode has left the Soldera family scratching their heads over a vintage whodunnit.

"I have never received any threats. I have absolutely no idea why this happened or who could have done it," winery founder Gianfranco Soldera, 75, told Reuters by telephone from the hilly estate on Wednesday morning.   Continued...