Malfunction leaks red wine into water pipes in an Italian town

For a few hours this week, residents of the northern Italian town of Castelvetro realized they could have their wine not just from bottles — but also from their faucets and shower heads.

A malfunction at a local winery caused 1,000 liters of ready-to-be-bottled wine to leak into the water pipes.

The glitch lasted about three hours and impacted about 20 homes, said Giorgia Mezzacqui, deputy mayor of Castelvetro, about 10 miles south of Modena.

The local government posted on its Facebook page that the leak didn’t pose any health risks.

The incident provided a moment of levity to the town that’s in the midst of the coronavirus crisis — which has hit northern Italy the hardest.

How it happened:

According to the Cantina Settecani winery, the malfunction was caused by a faulty valve in the washing circuit within the bottling line.

Lambrusco Grasparossa, a local specialty, seeped through the town’s water lines due to its pressure, the winery said in a statement.

Fabrizio Amorotti, commercial manager at Cantina Settecani, said the malfunction “was appreciated by many. Some clients in the areas called us to warn us about it, and to share they were bottling the wine!”

Castelvetro, in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, is normally a destination for food and wine enthusiasts from all over the world. Since the outbreak though, 80% of tourism structures in the area have had cancellations, Deputy Mayor Mezzacqui said.

Small towns such as Castelvetro are “the engine propelling an extraordinary nation, but now we need everybody’s help to survive,” she said.