Monday, September 27, 2010

Washington Grape Theft

Earlier this year, we reported on an attempted blackmailing at Burgundy's famed Romanee-Conti vineyard. And while that ultimately failed crime seemed motivated purely by money, a recent report of a successful grape theft in Washington is far murkier in its motives.

"Somebody," according to, "pulled up to a Benton County vineyard within the last week and ripped off a ton of grapes. And not just any old grapes. They were Bushvine Mourvedre, grown on the bush, not strung out on trellises like most other grapes. That might be pretty common in some parts of France, but not in the Red Mountain appellation area of Eastern Washington or anywhere else in the state for that matter."

Right now, then, the big question is this: Who had the knowledge and know-how to target Washington's Grand Reve Vintners, and what do they plan to do with their one-ton haul? They can't really vinify and bottle it, since that would ostensibly give away their identity. And selling it isn't really an option either, as bush-vine mourvedre is rare enough in Washington that any potential purchaser of the fruit would likely know where it came from.

Look for this story to take more unexpected twists and turns as it develops. In the meantime, I've posted the television report from NWCN, the North West Cable News network, below.


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