Vandals have struck at an historic wine estate in northern Italy, draining tanks and destroying the equivalent of 400,000 bottles of sparkling wine, worth an estimated €500,000, according to local media reports.

Workers at the Conte Vistarino winery in Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy, found the estate grounds soaked in grape juice and skins after the night-time attack last week, according to reports in local media and also in The Daily Telegraph.

The vandals drained seven tanks of Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay and other white grape varieties from the 2016 harvest and destined for sparkling wine. Nothing was stolen and no other damage was done in the attack.

‘It was a tremendous shock,’ Ottavia Giorgi di Vistarino, the countess who manages the estate, told journalists. ‘If you have no idea why [this attack happened], you don’t sleep at night.

‘The team is shaken, but we won’t let it stop us. We’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.’

The 826-hectare Conte Vistarino estate, located in the Valle Scuropasso in the province of Pavia, has hosted the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret, and has been owned by the same family since the 17th century.

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