HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Nearly 100,000 gallons of red wine spilled from a tank at a vineyard in Sonoma County and eventually leaked into the Russian River.
The Press Democrat reports the cabernet sauvignon, enough to fill eight large tanker trucks, spilled at the Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg Wednesday after a door near the bottom of a large blending tank popped open.
The wine went into a sanitary sewer system on the property, to a drainage ditch that feeds into Reiman Creek and eventually to the Russian River, affecting water quality in the 110-mile tributary flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
In a post on their Facebook page, Rodney Strong Vineyards said they "worked urgently to contain the leak and save as much wine as we could." The winery believes between 70-80% of the wine spilled was captured by either equipment, staff, or a third party assisting with the spill.
"Most of us grew up swimming in the Russian River and it is a vital part of our local eco-system [sic]. We are deeply concerned and are doing absolutely everything in our power to protect our waterways," Christopher O'Gorman, communication director with Rodney Strong Vineyards said in a Facebook post. "Cleanup efforts are ongoing and we are conducting an internal investigation into the apparent mechanical failure."
The vineyard notified local law enforcement, the California Office of Emergency Response, the Healdsburg Fire Department, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife about the spill. A representative for the Department of Fish and Wildlife told Rodney Strong Vineyards that frogs, water strider bugs, steelhead trout and local birds were not impacted by the spill.
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