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Intruder pours away 60,000 litres of wine in Spain

A winery in Spain has suffered more than £2m in losses after an intruder poured away some 60,000 litres of wine on Sunday (18 February).

According to reports, the intruder broke into the Cepa 21 winery in Castrillo de Duero, Valladolid, Spain, and proceed to open the vats, pouring the liquid away.

Security footage released by the producer showed an unidentified person running between large vats and turning the taps, releasing the tens of thousands of litres of fermenting liquid onto the winery floor.

A spokesperson for the winery told the BBC that the two most expensive varieties produced by the company, its Horcajo and Malabrigo, were released from the vats, and they believed that the intruder was familiar with the estate and its grounds.

Local police are currently investigating the incident.

Security mechanism

According to the BBC, the representative said it was “very hard to open the tanks”, as there was a specific security mechanism, without knowledge of how to do so. In addition, the spokesperson said the intruder was clearly used to opening such tanks and “familiar with this kind of machinery”.

They also said the person was “moving very smoothly” even though it was dark and “must be a person who knows the grounds well”.

In all, five takes were opened, but only three were filled. The lost wine would be filled around 80,000 bottles. At the time of writing, Horcajo retails at around £80 and Malabrigo at £35.

Malabrigo is a Tempranillo that is fermented in steel tanks for 26 days followed by malolactic fermentation for 30 days in French oak barrels. The winery describes it as a cherry-red wine with a bright and intense colour and is “very expressive” on the nose with ripe black fruit and “the subtle presence of wood, accompanied by warmth and balsamic touches. It received 92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

The more expensive wine, the Horcajo, is a single-variety 15% ABV Tinto Fino wine, whose name “honours the plot of the same name where the grapes come from”. It received 93 points on Wine Advocate.

The head of the winery, Jose Moro, told Spanish broadcaster TVE that the intruder didn’t steal anything and it appeared the sole purpose was to cause damage.

He said: “It’s a case of doing harm for the sake of doing harm, by someone who can’t be very balanced, hasn’t got much common sense and is acting out of hatred.”

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Thieves steal ‘one of the best wine collections in Spain’

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