Business Wine vandalism Draining mystery
商业 葡萄酒之劫 正在流失的谜案
Who pulled the plug?
BY THE time Gianfranco Soldera realised something was awry, it was too late.
"I rushed down into the cellar and all ten barrels of Brunello from the 2007 to 2012 vintages were open and the wine had gone off down the drains."
On the night of December 2nd someone broke into Mr Soldera's estate, emptied the massive oak casks of 62,600 litres of one of the world's great wines and left without stealing a thing.
Why is a mystery fit for Andrea Camilleri's fictional Sicilian detective, Inspector Montalbano. On Sicily, the explanation would be obvious:
Italians immediately compared the attack on Mr Soldera's estate, known as Case Basse ("Low Houses"), to those on wineries confiscated from the Mafia.
But Brunello comes from vineyards around Montalcino in Tuscany—a place where,
as the mayor noted, people still go out "leaving the key to the house in the front door".
The 75-year-old Mr Soldera is not a Tuscan.
He was born near Venice. After a career in insurance, he arrived in Montalcino in the early 1970s to find the perfect spot for Sangiovese, the only grape allowed in Brunello.
He began producing 10,000-15,000 bottles a year of a light-bodied, floral, long-lived red that nowadays retails on release in Italy at up to