Luckily, the large Spanish winery only lost a small percentage of what it produces.

By Mike Pomranz
September 28, 2020
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Even during your most desperate of moments, praying to Dionysus for one more glass of wine to keep the evening alive, here’s something you never want to see: over 60,000 bottles’ worth of wine gushing towards you like a breached dam. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what happened at a Spanish winery last week when a 13,000-gallon tank broke leaving a flood of red wine—and a viral video—in its wake.

On Friday, the Spanish station Radio Albacete posted a 49-second clip to Twitter showing the overflowing tank not long after the burst. “Blowout of a 50,000-liter wine tank at Bodegas Vitivinos, Villamalea,” the tweet explained. The cameraperson is forced to backpedal as the “Shining elevator”-like spew of red liquid rushes towards their feet. Eventually, the massive leakage subsides, but the camera pans to show the escaped wine as it spills past equipment toward a nearby road.

Red wine tanks.
| Credit: David Silverman / Contributor/Getty Images

No one likes to see that much wine go down the proverbial drain, but Bodegas Vitivinos will probably be fine: The over 50-year-old winery in central Spain boasts production of over 6,600 tons of grapes which loosely translates to about 5 million bottles. So though 60,000 bottles isn’t a drop in the bucket, the winery didn’t see all of their profits washed away. And the video has been watched over 10 million times via Radio Albacete’s tweet alone, which means at least they got some free publicity for their loss.

That said, as we’ve seen here in the States, the video might not be the end of the story. Back in January, California’s Rodney Strong Vineyard made headlines after about a half million bottles’ worth of wine escaped from their facilities—with so much of the Cabernet ending up in the nearby Russian River that the local waterways were reportedly tinted red. Now, Bay City News reports that water regulators have announced that this spill violated state and federal laws. A representative for the winery appeared to contest that assertion, and it’s not clear whether any further penalties or actions will be taken, but the report serves as a reminder that the impacts of spilling such large quantities of wine can go beyond a producer’s bottom line.