Portuguese Town Flooded in Wine

Approximately 2.2m liters of red wine leaked from two tanks at a distillation facility, flooding a town.

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 More than 2m liters of wine flooded a small town in Portugal. (Screenshot from Pop Base on X)
More than 2m liters of wine flooded a small town in Portugal. (Screenshot from Pop Base on X)

A small town in São Lourenço do Bairro, located in Portugal's Bairrada wine region, experienced an unusual flooding event when 2.2m liters of red DOC-wine gushed out of two ruptured tanks at Destilaria Levira, the country's largest distillery, on Sunday, September 10. The cause of the tanks' failure is still under investigation, according to the distillery.

The wine had been stored in the tanks for the specific purpose of crisis distillation. Despite the large volume, the wine represents just a fraction of the total amount registered for this procedure. According to an article in a Portuguese financial magazine cited by the distillery, the €20m allocated by the European Union for crisis distillation is sufficient only for processing about half of the 57.8m liters of wine that have been registered for the procedure.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the wine flowed unhindered from the distillery, situated on a hill, down a road and into the valley below. A local resident captured the event on video. Quick action from local firefighters prevented the wine from contaminating the nearby Certime River. Instead, they diverted the flood of wine onto a field, from which it was then transported to a wastewater treatment plant. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, although one basement was flooded.

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