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Runaway boulder crashes through Italian vineyard

A one-thousand-tonne boulder that tore through a vineyard in northern Italy has caused hundreds of thousands of euros-worth of damage, the estate manager has said.

Baron Philipp von Hohenbuhel told decanter.com that tenants on the Freisinger Hof vineyard estate in Tramin, near Trento in northern Italy, had a lucky escape when several boulders came hurtling towards their their property from the mountainside above.

One boulder weighing 400 cubic metres ripped straight through a farm building at the estate, which is owned by the Servite Order convent of Maria Luggau.

Another came to a halt just a few feet from the main property, occupied by a married couple. ‘They got away with a bad fright,’ said von Hohenbuhel, who is the delegate charged with overseeing the estate.

A total of four hectares of vines were flattened during the rock fall, which happened on 21 January at 8:15pm.

‘It is too early to say the exact costs of the damage, but it runs into hundreds of thousands of euros,’ von Hohenbuhel said. ‘Now, we will do our best to roll up our sleeves and begin to clean up.’

Grapes from Fresinger Hof are sent to Cantina Tramin, which gathers grapes from 280 small growers to produce a range of wines, including Gewürztraminer, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Lagrein.

Written by Chris Mercer

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