Food & Drink

Five O’clock Somewhere: Accidental death of Spanish winemaker is rare



Alcohol does have its casualties, though we are more likely to think of them taking place on the open road than in the production process. Take the case of Nerea Perez, 25, a vineyard worker in northern Spain. She perished last week while stirring fermenting wine, a time-consuming job that's believed to add body. While occupied with that task, she was overcome by carbon-dioxide gases released from the lees. She became unconscious, falling face down into the large vat, in which she drowned. Her body was discovered, and her uncle, a well-known winemaker, was informed of the death.

An employee at the vineyard pointed out that this instance was extremely rare, and that they had no recorded fatalities due to the practice. In fact, we can recall no similar instances of death by drowning in wine, with the exception, perhaps, of the assassination of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, who was allegedly drowned in a cask of Malmsey wine.