If you’ve landed here, please check out the update here.
Above: I took this photo of Gianfranco Soldera in his cellar in September 2010, the last time I tasted with him.
According to a report first published today by WineNews.it and then reposted by Franco Ziliani, “vandals” destroyed more than 600 hectoliters of Gianfanco Soldera’s wines last night.
After entering the cellar, they simply opened the valves of the large-format oak casks and let the wine pour out on to the cellar floor.
The report, which was based on Soldera’s own account, states that his entire production from 2007-2012 was lost.
No other damage or theft was reported.
Observers of the Italian wine industry have already begun to speculate that this act of vandalism fits the classic model for extortion by organized crime.
I’ll continue to report on this tragic episode as more information comes to light.