The group has previously hijacked tankers of foreign wine and set off dynamite in supermarkets.

By Gillie Houston
Updated June 12, 2017
French Dump Wine into Streets
Credit: © Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a move sure to horrify wine lovers everywhere, a group of French "wine terrorists" flooded the streets of a town in the southeast of France with hundreds of gallons of wine. On Tuesday night, the roads of the Mediterranean port of Sete were turned into rivers of red, which were caught on camera by French news crews.

The militant group said to be responsible for the ambush is the Comite d'Action Viticole (Regional Action Committee of Winemakers), also known as Crav. This mysterious organization's mission, according to The Telegraph, is to take militant actions to protect local wine producers from foreign imports that could take away their business. Though police have not yet confirmed to the public whether or not the group was behind the actions, it was confirmed by representatives of Crav itself, which has been active in the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees winemaking region since 1970.

"Why this action? Because we are never listened to," one Crav representative tells France 3 of the spectacle. In addition to the event in Sete, during which large vats of wine were cracked open, Crav has also taken numerous other anti-import actions in recent years. The group has previously hijacked tankers of foreign wine and set off dynamite in supermarkets and government buildings in protest. They are also believed to be behind an attack last April during which five tankers of Spanish wine were hijacked, and 90,000 bottles worth of imported wine were drained.

The man behind The Comite d'Action Viticole is the late Jean Vialde, who won the admiration of many in the French wine industry for his escapades, and was even said to have received a $50 millon offer from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to overthrow the French government.

Despite the continued efforts of Vialde's organization, France continues to be the world's largest buyer of Spanish wine. In 2014, the Languedoc-Roussillon region alone bought 400 millon hectoliters of the imported vino, and that number has gone up every year. So, it's safe to say there's plenty of wine left to replace that which was washed down the drain.