Thieves operating in the dead of night have stolen 1,000 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino from high profile estate Col d'Orcia, including 'irreplaceable' library vintages.
Around 100,000 euros-worth of Brunello di Montalcino wines were stolen from the Col d’Orcia wine shop, situated on the winery estate, last weekend, according to the winery.
Thieves broke into the shop overnight and took around 1,000 Brunello wines, including library vintages dating back to 1964 and also highly rated wines such as Poggio al Vento Riserva 1997 and 1999.
‘Some of the bottles are irreplaceable,’ said Francesco Marone Cinzano, owner of Col d’Orcia, who was sleeping in the next-door building at the time of the burglary.
‘They only took the Brunello and everything in the shop was very tidy and clean. They had strict instructions,’ he told Decanter.com.
A van stolen from Col d’Orcia and used as a getaway vehicle was found last night (Thursday 25 January) in Perugia, but no wines were inside.
Police have called in forensics experts to look for clues and a network of merchants, retailers and importers globally have been notified to look for suspect bottles.
‘A lot of merchants have sent messages of sympathy and promised to be on the lookout,’ Cinzano said.
There have been several other burglaries of private apartments in the Montalcino area in recent weeks, according to Cinzano, but it is not known whether they are connected.
There is a plan to set up 110 CCTV cameras this year in the municipality, in order to deter and detect thieves. ‘They will cover entrances and exits to main roads, and they will be able to read car number plates,’ said Cinzano who is one of those who has worked on the initiative with authorities.
There is a sense that fine wine thefts have become a growing problem for high profile wineries and restaurants worldwide in recent years, from California to Bordeaux.
Some have linked this to rapid price inflation for the world’s top wines in the last two decades.