Destroyed: six complete vintages of Soldera

An appalling and heinous crime in Montalcino has resulted in the destruction of six complete vintages of Soldera, the acclaimed, expensive, and already hard-to-find wine. Unknown assailants broke into the winery and opened the taps of the large oak casks. The contents of all the unbottled vintages 2007 – 2012 spilled onto the floor, lost down the drain. Forever. Nothing else in the winery was stolen or destroyed according to, which carried the brief account based on communication from Gianfranco Soldera.

It’s a tragic crime against wine. This news rips at the heart of any wine enthusiast, indeed probably anyone who can imagine six years of their work destroyed especially since it never saw the light of day.

In all, the equivalent of 80,000 bottles of wine was lost. The last vintage of Soldera that is commercially available, the 2006, fetches about $250 a bottle. (find this wine)

On Twitter, reaction was swift. Alder Yarrow dropped the F bomb. Lyle Fass called it “Beyond heinous,” calling it the “worst news I could imagine out of Italy and the wine world.” Italian Wine Merchants tweeted “I can’t begin to wrap my mind around Soldera’s loss. Like having your children, your life’s work and your art killed at once.” Michael Madrigale tweeted: “horrible. wicked. I’ve heard of this happening in Southern Italy (mafia) but never in Tuscany.” John Gilman wondered, “Will good ever prevail over bad?”

Katherine Cole expressed a common sense of bafflement at the events in Brunello: “Why why why why why why whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhy would someone do that to Gianfranco Soldera?????????????????”

UPDATE 12/4: Gianfranco Soldera has put out a press release detailing that 62,600 liters were destroyed. He writes “Our thoughts and actions, at this time, are directed solely toward the future because no intimidation can stop our work and passion for this land and the products it yields.” Whole statement is here. Thanks to Robert Bohr of Grand Cru Selections, the US importer of Soldera, for passing it on.

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15 Responses to “Destroyed: six complete vintages of Soldera”

  1. Tragic…hard to believe the futility of this.

  2. Really terrible story, especially since it’s my favorite BdM producer (but it would be terrible if it was a modernista).

  3. One can only assume he made some enemies with Brunellogate, even though it’s never been established he did ‘shop’ them.

    When Bannockburn winery in Australia had the harvest destroyed by hail in 1998, wineries across the country sent them (very good) grapes to vinify, so they had something to sell. It will be interesting to see what response there is from the other Brunello producers.

  4. Let’s hope that the lost wine was insured.

  5. […] Some terrible news in Italy. On Sunday evening, vandals broke into Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera and opened the taps of all its large oak casks, completely destroying five vintages (2007-2012) of Soldera, one of the world’s most acclaimed Brunellos. […]

  6. Don’t expect very many Brunello producers to rush to Soldera’s aid. He is widely disliked, even hated there. There are plenty of people in his community who are probably happy that this happened, as sick as that sounds. Jealousy? Maybe, but he’s always been a controversial guy in his community and has never gone out of his way to make friends or be a part of the crowd. Remember that he was at the forefront of exposing the violations of DOCG law that were going on in Brunello a few years ago, which made him even more vilified by many of his neighbors. So that’s one place to start looking, if there’s ever to be a serious investigation into this.

  7. Anyone know where RMP was that evening?

  8. I added a statement from Gianfranco Soldera. He says the carabinieri are on the case–I hope the perpetrators are brought to justice in a timely manner.

    Jeremy Parzen has written an informative update on the matter. In it, he says that the wines were insured even against vandalism, adding “before becoming a winemaker, Gianfranco Soldera made his fortune in the insurance trade in Milan.”

    Jeremy quotes the mayor of Montalcino who rules out mafia involvement. Jeremy also downplays vengeance from a fellow Brunello producer as a possible cause.

  9. I do hope there aren’t people thinking “He’d insured, therefore it doesn’t really matter and we can thus cover up for the perps”.

    Who pays for the cost of insurance? Anyone that buys it.

    It’s likely that such an event will impact every wineries premiums (as well as a few other farmers). They’ll pay a lot more (or not be able to afford it) after this event.

  10. […] Italy, running about $250-300 per bottle. The winery awoke this past Monday morning to find their entire supply of the past six vintages was detroyed. People snuck and drained every tank, letting the wine pour down the drain. Gone. The winery posted […]

  11. Lyle Fass: “worst news I could imagine out of Italy…”

    Wine dumped down the drain.

    Pick one.

  12. Said commentary although I don’t know if you can only blames the Vandals. There may have been some activity on the part of Goths and Visigoths. I think some more investigation may be in order to track down those heinous Germanic tribes that are alleged to have committed this atrocious act. This can only be described as alcohol abuse at it’s worst.
    All kidding aside my thoughts to the winery for their loss.

  13. Destruction of Soldera wine was likely done by former employee, reports Police report due “within days.”

  14. […] police have arrested a former employee for the recent destruction of six vintages of Soldera Brunello. A motive appears to be that he was not provided a “mini apartment” at the estate. […]

  15. All my support to Soldera winery.
    Keep going Mr.Soldera.Keep going.


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