A former employee of Brunello di Montalcino winery Soldera has been sentenced to four years in prison after sabotaging thousands of litres of the celebrated producer's wine.
Andrea Di Gisi was sentenced following a brief trial in Siena, in which he was found guilty of vandalising Gianfranco Soldera’s Case Basse estate.
On 2 December last year, Di Gisi, previously an employee of Soldera‘s, broke into Case Basse under the cover of darkness and opened ten casks of aging Brunello di Montalcino, ruining 62,600 litres of wine spanning vintages from the past six vintages. His arrest two weeks later was reported globally to a shocked wine world.
The judge ‘accepted the prosecutor’s requests in full’, said estate owner Gianfranco Soldera (pictured).
Speaking following Di Gisi’s sentencing, Soldera described the damage caused as ‘dramatic’. It is thought to have cost several million euros in commercial sales.
He added that a limited part of the past six vintages remains intact, and this ‘will be sold in the next few years’. The part of the 2006 vintage already bottled at the time of the attack is also safe. The first wine shipments from the estate since the attack will begin at the end of this month.
Soldera has also confirmed his resignation from the Consorzio Del Vino Brunello di Montalcino with immediate effect. He will continue to produce wine ‘exclusively from the grapes of our Sangiovese vines at Case Basse’.
Written by Chris Mercer