Our Thirst For Prosecco Has Led to Extensive Vine Theft

By Aly Walansky |
FWX DONT SERVE PROSECCO FROM A TAP

© INSADCO Photography / Alamy

Prosecco is not just a delicious choice at cocktail parties, is a big money industry— over 300 million bottles were produced in 2015—and many are attempting to get their cut of the rewards. But they’re attempting to do it without a lot of the hard work. In northern Italy’s Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, thieves are trespassing on vineyards after hours and stealing the freshly planted vines.

These thieves are then selling their stolen vines to producers not bothered by using the black market, and plant the stolen goods in their own vineyards.

The Telegraph  reports that one frustrated vineyard owner who had 800 vines stolen had posted a sign on his property: “Dear thief, I bought my vines. It would have been much better if you had bought yours too.”

Related: Crémant de Limoux: The Sparkler That Champagne Doesn't Want You To Know About

The vineyard owners are getting crafty in an attempt to identify their stolen merchandise, going as far as to spray their young vines with colored dye so that if they are stolen, the culprit can be more easily discovered. Other tactics include security cameras and high fences. However, this all just adds to their costs.

Here’s hoping they put a cork in these thefts and soon.

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