A vineyard in Sonoma County, Calif., as much as almost 100,000 gallons of red wine into the Russian River, posing a threat to the local fish population.
The accident occurred Wednesday at Rodney Strong Vineyards after a blending tank burst open, spilling 97,112 gallons of wine into nearby ponds and a creek, CNN reported Friday.
The spill resulted in an estimated 46,000 to 96,000 gallons of wine into the nearby Russian River.
While there have been no reports of fish deaths, experts such as Don McEnhill, executive director of Russian Riverkeeper, said the wine is likely to kill insects in the river that are a source of food for the fish.
“We’re lucky that it’s winter and the river is high and there’s a fair amount of dilution [of the wine],” McEnhill said.
Chris O’Gorman, a spokesman for Rodney Strong, reportedly told CNN affiliate KGO on Thursday that the winery has launched an internal investigation into the incident and is cooperating with authorities.
“We are deeply, deeply concerned about this leak and protecting our waterways here in Sonoma County,” O’Gorman said.
The incident comes a little more than two years after winemakers in Sonoma County were hit with wildfires that burned more than 115,000 acres in the area.