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Huge Amount of Red Wine Spills Into River

Up to 97K gallons leaks from a Sonoma County winery in California
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2020 8:20 AM CST
   (Getty/artisteer)

(Newser) – The Russian River meanders through wine country in northern California, and this week it's particularly well-suited to the task. Up to 97,000 gallons of red wine spilled into the river from a winery in Sonoma County, reports CNN. Cabernet sauvignon, to be exact, and enough to fill 500,000 bottles if the spill ends up being near the upper estimate, notes the Press Democrat. The wine typically sells for $27 a bottle, per KGO. Authorities blame a faulty blending tank door at Rodney Strong Vineyards for the mess. The wine made its way into a creek, then into the river that flows into the Pacific.

"At that point it’s just a matter of nature taking its course and letting it flow out to the ocean," says the chief of a local fire battalion. Though the spill may sound jokey in nature, it still has the potential to disrupt the river's ecosystem temporarily. The acidic, untreated wine could kill smaller fish and other types of food that larger fish need to survive, notes the head of a nonprofit group that protects the river. Still, he adds, "We've had many worse things happen to our river." (Mars travelers may want to pack red wine for the trip.)

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