Vandals destroy millions of dollars worth of Italian wine

Mike Krumboltz
Bottles of wine are pictured at a London store ( LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters)
Bottles of wine are pictured at a London store ( LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters)

It seems borderline sacrilegious. A group of vandals destroyed millions of dollars worth of Case Basse di Soldera wine in Italy's Tuscan hills. No bottles were stolen.

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About 16,500 gallons of future Brunello di Montalcino were lost. The winery's owner posted a statement following the destruction, which read it part:

"This gesture deserves no description, such is the seriousness that it will ring out well beyond the boundaries of our winery. The authorities will do their duty, we trust, with the help of those who want to collaborate."

Brunello is one of Italy's best known (and priciest) wines. Bloomberg reports that it is made "exclusively with Sangiovese grapes according to the standards set in 1888 for the producers. The wine is aged in oak casks for five years before it can be drunk." Bottles of the winery's 2006 vintage sell for between $250 and $350 each. This ain't your average bottle of Two Buck Chuck.

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The winery is run by Gianfranco Soldera and his family. He told Reuters, "This is beyond me. I can't get into the minds of the people who did this but I guess if someone plans to intimidate me it has to start somehow." He continued: "We will carry on," Soldera said. "We have passion for this land and its produce and no amount of intimidation can stop us."