Six firefighters from the Austrian town of Lustenau were called to a Chinese restaurant after staff noticed that their prized three-metre tall wine bottle, containing 1,590 litres of Burgenland Zweigelt, was leaking.
On 23 January, the Lustenau Fire Department were given an “unusual mission”. Staff at Chinese restaurant Engel Wang Fu had noticed that their treasured giant wine bottle, which according to Kurier had been at the eatery since 2017, was leaking wine onto the floor.
Worried that the bottle might burst, the firefighters built a barrier with sandbags and wooden panels to prevent the wine from flooding the entire restaurant.
When this was secure, they drilled a hole in the 30cm-thick cork and pumped out the remaining wine, with the help of equipment from a dairy, into containers owned by a local cider factory. In total they were able to salvage around 1,360 litres. After two hours, and a clean-up operation, the mission was complete.
The wine was a Zweigelt from 2015 called 100 Days, made by Burgenland-based winery Keringer
In March 2017 the bottle received a Guinness World Record for being the largest filled glass wine bottle. It took three years to create and weighs 770kg when empty and more than two tons when filled.
Winemaker Robert Keringer told APA that after a period of “public maturation” the wine was intended to be auctioned off for charity. He said that the salvaged wine would be re-bottled and put to a good cause.
Boris Gehrer, sales manager at Pfanner & Gutmann, which helped create the bottle, told APA that the incident occurred as a result of a power failure of the temperature-controlled glass chamber in which the bottle was stored.