The convoluted and keeps-on-getting-weirder story of the attempted blackmailing of the famed Domaine de la Romanee-Conti earlier in the year just took an even more cinematic turn: The accused, who was in jail in Dijon in the lead-up to his trial, has apparently hanged himself in his cell. “His son,” Decanter.com reported, “who was arrested at the same time, will [still] stand trial later this year.”
This is yet one more twist in an already Hollywood-esque tale: Back in February, the deceased and his son were arrested “during a sting operation after they had demanded $1m ransom from Romanée-Conti owner Aubert de Villaine,” Decanter reported. “‘They claimed that if we did not pay they would poison the vines,' Villaine said after the operation was revealed by local newspaper Le Bien Public.”
Thankfully, aside from the loss of a vine as the result of its being poisoned with a weed killer, there was no harm done to the vineyard...just a real scare, and a realization, among all wine lovers, that even the most precious, historically significant vineyards in the world aren’t safe from those that would do them harm.
Scary stuff, indeed.