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Italian plumbing bungle turns water into wine

Inhabitants of a tiny Italian town thought there had been a miraculous intervention yesterday when wine started flowing from the taps in their kitchens.

The ‘miracle’ occurred during the town’s annual harvest festival, the Sagra dell’ Uva, in Marino, south of Rome.

A huge crowd, gathered in the square to witness the annual spurting of 3,000 litres of the year’s newly pressed vintage from the Fountain of the Four Moors, became increasingly restless as the fountain continued to produce only the usual trickle of water.

But then a shout of ‘miracolo’ rang out from a nearby house and a woman appeared at her balcony to announce that wine was flowing from her kitchen tap.

It transpired that instead of connecting the wine to the 17th century fountain, plumbers had hooked the pipes from the local vineyard into Marino’s domestic water supply.

One resident said, ‘I was in the kitchen to fill a bucket with water. I immediately noticed a sweet smell from the tap and recognised instantly it was wine. Word quickly spread and everyone filled up bottles and plastic containers with the wine.’

Mayor of Marino, Adriano Palozzi said, ‘It was a surprise and completely unexpected. People were calling it a miracle which it wasn’t – it was a mistake.’

The Castelli Romani area has been producing straw-coloured, slightly effervescent, white wines since the Roman times. Known generically as Frascati, the wine is made from trebbiano and malvasia grapes.

Written by Lucy Shaw

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