Source: Agencies | 2012-12-6 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
VANDALS have destroyed more than 62,000 liters worth of choice Brunello di Montalcino wine of the exclusive Soldera label at the Case Basse vineyard and estate in Tuscany, Italy.
In what the owners have branded as an act of Mafia-style intimidation, the vandals opened the spigots of 10 huge barrels of the produce of the last six years and let the wine pour out.
They broke into the estate on Sunday night. Workers on Monday morning found nothing left to show for six years work but puddles of red liquid on the floor.
The total amount of wine lost was 62,600 liters, according to a Soldera family statement.
A bottle of Soldera starts at about 110 euros (US$140).
The whole episode has left the family wondering who is responsible.
"I have never received any threats. I have absolutely no idea why this happened or who could have done it," winery founder Gianfranco Soldera, 75, said yesterday.
"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 said.
The 23-hectare estate at Montalcino uses Sangiovese Grosso vines to produce the famous wine.
Soldera, a former insurance broker from Milan, and his wife Graziella, started the estate in 1972.
Soldera runs the estate with his wife, his two children, his grandchildren and about 15 full-time employees.
"We will carry on," Soldera said. "We have passion for this land and its produce and no amount of intimidation can stop us."