Red wine floods the streets of Portugal

Some 2.2 million liters of red wine swirled down a Portuguese street in a veritable alcoholic river, going viral on social media.

 Person pouring wine into a glass (photo credit: PEXELS)
Person pouring wine into a glass
(photo credit: PEXELS)

The small town of São Lourenco do Bairro, Portugal experienced a veritable river of red wine after 2.2 million liters of alcohol were spilled onto a hilltop street, flowing down the entire town, local media outlets reported Sunday.

The wine flow, caused by an accident at local distillery Levira, saw the streets literally become flooded as huge and fast tides of dark red wine swirled down the street, with footage of the site going viral on social media.

But while it may have been a peculiar sight, and likely financial loss for Levira, the wine river also could have posed a serious environmental threat, with fears rising that the luscious-colored liquid could be heading straight for a Cértima River.

The situation was resolved after determined efforts by the Anadia district fire department, successfully diverting the deluge away from the river, resulting in minimal damage.

A local council member informed the Jornal de Notícias that they successfully prevented the wine from spilling into a river, thereby averting an environmental catastrophe.

“We deeply regret the incident that occurred this morning,” the Destilaria Levira said in a post on its Facebook page on Sunday. “We want to express our sincere concern for the damage caused in general.” It said the causes of the rupture were being investigated and that it took full responsibility for the cleanup.

Two glasses of red wine (illustrative) (Credit: INGimage)
Two glasses of red wine (illustrative) (Credit: INGimage)

A story to wine about: Previous red wine-related mishaps in Europe

You might think this is the first time a town in Europe experienced a bizarre mishap with red wine, causing it to start flowing where it very much shouldn't be after something went wrong at a nearby company.

You would also be wrong.

Back in 2020, the town of Castelvetro, Italy got to enjoy red wine like never before: Literally pouring out of sink faucets and shower heads.

A technical error at a local Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro winery during the bottling process caused 1,000 liters of wine to leak into the water pipes. Because of the high pressure, the wine then started flowing through the system and into houses throughout the village. 

But while the Portuguese incident saw some whine about environmental risks, the Italian one saw a far more pleasant response, with the wine being perfectly safe to drink and with residents dubbing it "a dream come true."