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Italian Police Arrest Ex-Employee in Wine Vandalism Case

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Photo: Montalcino News

Italian police have arrested a suspect in the epic raid and vandalism of Brunello di Montalcino producer Gianfranco Soldera's estate, which resulted in the loss of more than 60,000 liters of wine. As was revealed last week, police suspected a former Soldera employee was the culprit and were expecting to issue a warrant in the coming days. And, indeed, Decanter reports that the man who was arrested is a former Soldera employee with a grudge.

Per the report, police have arrested Montalcino resident Andrea Di Gisi — who "already has a record of crimes involving destruction of property" — and charged him with sabotage. His beef with Soldera reportedly involves the winemaker "showing preference to another employee by giving him better lodging" at the estate. And apparently at a televised news conference, Italian police "revealed they have seized a pair of wine-stained jeans" and intercepted a phone call from Di Gisi to his nephew in which he reportedly said, "Wine isn't like blood, with two washes it will go away."

Siena mayor Silvio Franceschelli told journalists in a press conference that there was no mafia involvement in the case after all, according to DoBianchi. As you might recall, initial reports speculated that the vandlism it could have been an act of extortion by the mafia or revenge by a rival Brunello producer who suspected Soldera of blowing the whistle in the great Brunello scandal of 2008 in which top producers were accused of blending their wines with illegal grape varieties.

· Police arrest suspect in Soldera wine sabotage [Decanter]
· Soldera: Ex-employee arrested and charged, Corriere della Sera reports [DoBianchi]
· All Wine Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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