Red Wine Flooded Down This One Very Unexpected Place In Portugal

The locals must have been on cloud wine.
Red wine running down the streets of a Portuguese town
Red wine running down the streets of a Portuguese town
Twitter @nuno_mar

A Portuguese village was unexpectedly flooded with more wine than you could dream of on Sunday morning.

No, the clips on social media are not AI-generated – and as far as we’re aware, there was no divine intervention which turned water into wine (despite the incident happening on a Sunday).

Around 600,000 gallons (two million litres) of red wine burst out of two local distillery’s wine tanks, and ran down the roads of Sao Lourenco do Bairro, where around 2,200 people live.

The liquid gold, belonging to Destilaria Levira, ran into Certima River, which runs into Portugal’s largest freshwater lake and hydrates local habitats – so the spillage has prompted some serious environmental concerns.

The distillery uses wine to create other produce, such as oils and cleaning supplies – and the wine that was spilled was actually going to be chucked or distilled into raw alcohol.

Even though Portugal consumes more wine per person than anywhere else in the world (51.9 litres per capita in 2020), it is still dealing with a large surplus of the alcohol this year.

People are drinking less of the booze recently amid rising production costs and more competition on the alcohol market.

The European Commission estimated a 34% decline in wine consumption in 2023 for Portugal, which is why the country’s ministry of agriculture is investing 20 million euros (around £17 million) in the distillation of wine to make use of the excess.

This spilt wine though has no such second life ahead of it.

Once the authorities got a handle of it, it was moved to a wastewater treatment plant, after being rerouted by the Anadia Volunteer Fire Brigade.

And luckily, no one was injured (or intoxicated, that we know of) after the incident.

The company behind the leak spoke out on Monday, thanking the government for its assistance adding that it will “assume full responsibility for the costs associated with cleaning up and repairing the damage”.

Still, social media users didn’t miss the opportunity to crack a couple of jokes about the vino – I guess great minds do drink alike...

Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. It’s always wine time somewhere, after all.

In 2020, the Russian River in California started to look a little red-faced after a 97,000 gallon (440,970 litres) winery tank burst open. Months later, a 13,000 gallon (59,100 litres) tank broke at a Spanish winery, too.


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