Vandals open taps at Italian winery

Vandals have destroyed the equivalent of 400,000 bottles of wine at the Conte Vistarino estate in Lombardy.

vistarinoesterni05An unknown number of intruders reportedly broke into the winery near Pavia early last week and opened seven tanks filled with wine from the 2016 harvest.

Over 600,000 litres of wine, worth around €500,000, is said to have been lost. The majority was Pinot Grigio destined to be sold as bulk to local sparkling wine producers but some Pinot Noir was also spilled into the drains.

As nothing else was taken during the break-in there seems to be little doubt it was a deliberate and targeted act of sabotage.

Ottavia Giorgi di Vistarino told The Telegraph it was a “tremendous shock”, there had been no threats or warnings beforehand and she had no idea who the perpetrators might be.

She told a local paper that the vandals had drained six 100,000-litre tanks full of Pinot Grigio and a 60,000-litre tank half-full of Pinot Noir.

The Telegraph noted that there is currently a fraud inquiry going on in the region relating to producers cutting Pinot Grigio with other varieties to increase volumes. The Conte Vistarino however is not suspected of any wrongdoing in this regard and is not under investigation.

Opening the taps on fermenting wine is a sadly common act of sabotage. A few years ago in Brunello a disgruntled ex-worker spilled thousands of litres of wine at Casse Basse – the maker of ‘Soldera’. The culprit, Andrea di Gisi, was eventually caught and jailed for four years.

Earlier this year there have been similar acts of vandalism in Canada and Australia, with the latter attack seeing 1.2 million litres of wine at Riverland Vintners destroyed.

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