Wine Terrorists Strike Again: 400,000 Bottles of Italian Wine Just Got Ruined by Vandals

Wine crime is getting worse and worse.

Just when we thought 2016 couldn’t get any worse, a shocking new wine-related crime has our expectations for the year dropping even lower. (What comes below rock bottom? Tune in next week to find out!)

GrubStreet reports the sad, sad news that an estate in Italy became a victim of the latest heinous act of wine terrorism last week. The employees of Conte Vistarino, a family-owned winery that’s been around for hundreds of years, woke up recently to discover that more than half a million dollars' worth of wine had been dumped from its containers onto the floor by unknown assailants. The fallen wine would have gone on to become Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. That ocean of alcohol would have yielded some 400,000-plus bottles of wine (almost enough to last us until 2017).

Photo courtesy of contevistarino.it.

Reports noted that nothing else at the gigantic estate —which could legitimately give Batman’s Wayne Manor a run for its money on the ostentatious front—was taken, indicating that the attack wasn’t financially motivated, but rather done out of malice. Ottavia Giorgi di Vistarino, who manages the winery, says that the attack came as a complete shock, but that she, her family, and her staff are taking it in stride. The vandalized wine was pressed from about 10 percent of the grapes purchased by the winery in late November. As she told the Telegraph, “We’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”

This is of course not the first act of wine terrorism this year, but just the latest in a long line of attacks involving growers and winemakers, as competition over exportation, importation and grape fraud (so much for “in vino veritas”) have led to various acts of wine aggression all over Europe. The Telegraph reports that more than 300 people are currently being investigated for wine-based crimes that include bribing, wine fraud and more.

We don’t know exactly what it will take to stop all the wine warfare, but we’re hopeful a peace or at least a cease-fire will be reached sooner than later.

Until then, let's hope our favorite cocktails don't get caught in the crossfire.

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