If you love Wine, so you can imagine our devastation when nearly 100,000 gallons of cabernet sauvignon was spilled into a California river.
More than 97,000 gallons of red wine was spilled from a storage tank at a California vineyard and leaked into the Russian River. The local water officials are worried about the environmental damage.
The cabernet sauvignon was enough to fill more than 500,000 bottles.
The two-foot-wide oval door near the bottom of a 100,000-gallon wine tank opened automatically and spilled between 46,000 and 96,000 gallons of wine into the river before it was sealed again.
This wine spill is the biggest in the county’s history and most certainly the last two decades, Don McEnhill, executive director of nonprofit Russian Riverkeeper, told Press Democrat.
A statement from Rodney Strong Vineyards said that ‘at least 50% of the wine was diverted from waterways’, but some of the precious liquid had made its way from the creek into the Russian River – explaining that at the time of the spill river flow was at its ‘highest volume of the week, at approximately 65 million gallons/hour, due to recent rains’.
Chris O’Gorman, the spokesman for Rodney Strong, said: “We’re investigating what appears to be a mechanical failure, we’re not entirely sure of that at this point, but we’re deeply, deeply concerned about this leak and protecting our waterways here in Sonoma County.”
He added: “We feel like not that much wine got into the waterway. We are investigating the other tanks. We’ve moved wine out of that area to prevent any future leaks as well.”
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew investigated the source of the wine due to the light red foam lining the banks of the Russian River.
Efforts have been made to recover wine as much as possible, with estimates of 20 percent of the 97,112 gallons being contained.
Don McEnhill, the executive director of non-profit organization Russian River Keeper, said: “I’d say this is a case of dodging the bullet.
“We’re lucky in that it’s winter, the river is high, there’s a fair amount of dilution.
“We haven’t had any reports of fish kills, certainly the biochemical oxygen demand and the acidity of the wine is going to kill some smaller insect type things that are fish food.
“This could have been a lot worse.”
The financial loss of nearly 100,000 gallons of wine is not confirmed yet, but the cost could be into the millions.
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