A wine-filled tank at a Healdsburg winery sprang a leak Wednesday, sending booze into nearby waterways
Ponds, creeks, and drainage ditches near the Rodney Strong Vineyards are “foamy with red wine” this morning, ABC 7 reports, after a door in a 90,000-gallon blending tank at the winery popped open, sending enough booze to (per NBC Bay Area) “fill eight large tanker trucks” spilling out into the landscape.
Christopher O’Gorman, the winery’s communications manager, tells KPIX that they noticed the spill at around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, when an “apparent mechanical failure” released the door on a massive vat of Cabernet Sauvignon. Don McEnhill, executive director of nonprofit Russian Riverkeeper, tells the Press Democrat that the mess is “likely the biggest wine spill in county history.”
O’Gorman tells the Chron that around 45,000 gallons of cab were spilled in the incident, and that 20-25 percent of the tank went into vineyard ponds and creeks, the latter of which flow into the Russian River.
Inspectors with the Sonoma County Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Wildlife are actively investigating the spill, and say that Rodney Strong could face misdemeanor charges and penalties for the incident. Thus far, the agencies say that no fish kills have been reported, and Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Trisha Taniguchi says that “We saw signs of frogs in the creek today that we’re doing their normal thing and we saw some invertebrates as well – so that’s a good sign.”
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