Brunello vandal gets four years in jail

The vandal who destroyed six vintages of Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino from his former employer has been sentenced to four years in prison.

The "Brunello Killer" Andrea di Gisi

The “Brunello Killer” Andrea di Gisi, and the Case Basse cellars in Brunello di Montalcino

Andrea Di Gisi, 39, from Rome, was sentenced in a Siena court last Friday, and received two years fewer in prison than the prosecutor requested.

According to Montalcinonews.com, Di Gisi, who has been dubbed “The Brunello Killer” in the Italian press, is planning to appeal the sentence.

On announcing the jail term, Case Basse owner Gianfranco Soldera also said in a statement that he was resigning from the Brunello di Montalcino consorzio.

On 2 December last year, 62,600 litres of Brunello were lost after the taps to the barrels were opened by Di Gisi, who entered the cellar by breaking a window.

Gianfranco Soldera has resigned from the Brunello di Montalcino conzorzio

Gianfranco Soldera has resigned from the Brunello di Montalcino conzorzio

Once inside, he opened the valves of 10 barrels, allowing wine from the last six vintages: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 to flow down the drain.

The act of vandalism resulted in a commercial loss in the region of €10m.

Di Gisi allegedly carried out the attack out of revenge, and was said to have been angry that he hadn’t been given accommodation on the estate while working there.

Located in the south-west of Montalcino, the 23-hectare Case Basse estate was bought and restored by Soldera, a former insurance broker from Treviso, in 1972. It produces around 10,000 bottles each year.

The vintages of Case Basse Brunello that have been destroyed will now become a rarity, with only a few small barrels of each vintage remaining.

Having halted the sale of Case Basse Brunello after the attack in December in an attempt to prevent price speculation, Soldera will begin selling the wine again at the end of this month.

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