Call me flabbergasted. Deliberately destroy six entire vintages of a fabled wine, and the Italian justice system metes out a measly four-year sentence? Two less than the prosecutor requested, actually.
Sentenced was Andrea Di Gisi, a former employee of Gianfranco Soldera of Case Basse, a top Montalcino estate in southern Tuscany. Fired by Soldera, Di Gisi's motive allegedly was revenge. By entering the cellar of Case Basse at night and opening the valves of casks so that the wine gushed out onto the cellar floor, he effectively stole six years' work from his former boss. Not only that, since Soldera's Brunello di Montalcino spends up to five years aging in cask, it will be at least that many years before Soldera will be able to release another vintage of his top wine.