Bonfils bottling plant gutted by fire

Bonfils bottling plant gutted by fire

A bottling plant operated by wine merchant Bonfils in Southern France's Languedoc region has been destroyed by fire.

Bonfils estimated the damage at around EUR14m (US$18m) after flames engulfed its plant in Mèze. Twenty-one staff working at the plant were safely evacuated, but around 300,000 bottles of wine were destroyed.

The plant was in the line of a forest fire that swept through the surrounding area earlier this week and whose cause has not yet been established.

Bonfils’ managing director, Xavier Luc Linglin, told just-drinks today (3 September) that some bottling has been temporarily transferred to another company’s facilities. “But we’re still left with a shortfall in capacity of four to five million bottles and this will have to be put out to sub-contractors until we rebuild the destroyed plant, which is likely to take some time,” he said.