It wasn’t hard to get a glass of wine in one Portuguese village this weekend.
Residents of São Lourenço do Bairro woke up to find their streets flooded with vino on Sunday morning, reports The Washington Post. The unexpected deluge came from two holding tanks that burst at a local distillery.
More from Robb Report
At some point before people began rising for the day, two giant tanks ruptured at Destilaria Levira unleashing 600,000 gallons of plonk on the unsuspecting village of just over 2,200 residents. The alcohol, which was the equivalent of around 3 million standard bottles, rushed through the streets, making it all but impossible to pass by foot for a large portion of the day, according to the paper. Even worse: The flood was at one point headed for the Cértima River, which feeds into the country’s largest freshwater lake and supports several wetlands habitats. Fortunately, volunteer firefighters from nearby Anadia were able to divert the flow to a wastewater treatment facility before that could happen.
Verdadeiro rio de vinho em Anadia.
— _o_cabra_da_peste (@nuno_mar) September 11, 2023
“True river of wine in Anadia,” a user on X, formerly Twitter, captioned a video of the flooding. “Calamity!”
The worst outcome may have been avoided—and no injuries were reported—but the toll of the flooding remains unclear. Local officials have said they are still evaluating the damage caused to buildings, other structures, and roads by the wine.
There’s no need to shed a tear for all the lost wine, though. It hasn’t exactly gone to waste, according to the Post. Destilaria Levira —which specializes in turning wine into other products like gin or cleaning supplies—says the grape juice was set to be distilled into raw alcohol as part of a government plan to address the country’s overabundance of wine.
Portugal, like several of its neighbors, is currently experiencing a massive wine surplus as a result of consumption falling by more than a third in 2023, according to a study by the European Commission. The drop—which has been blamed on rising prices and interest in other alcohols—has led the country to invest around $21.5 million into wine distillation by companies like Destilaria Levira in a bid to stabilize the market.
Best of Robb Report