Winemaker reportedly drowns in vat of wine after trying to save younger co-worker

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By stefan armitage

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In a tragedy that unfolded in the world-renowned Ca’ di Rajo winery in northeastern Italy, a winemaker has reportedly drowned in a vat of fermenting wine while attempting to save his younger co-worker.

The incident has reignited conversations around workplace safety, especially in high-risk environments such as wineries where intoxicating fumes are present, per the New York Post.

As reported by The Telegraph, 46-year-old Marco Bettolini lost his balance and fell into the wine vat after being struck by dizziness from nitrogen gases released during the winemaking process.

It's believed that his colleague, 31-year-old Alberto Pin, entered the autoclave of the vat around 2:00PM to fix malfunctioning taps but quickly fell ill from the overpowering fumes. Trying to rescue Pin, Bettolini also succumbed to the noxious gases, falling a few feet and hitting his head at the bottom of the vat, according to the local newspaper, Tribuna di Treviso.

Pin was promptly taken to a hospital in Teviso and is currently in a medically-induced coma after having his heart restarted, as per News Italy 24.

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The tragedy occurred at the Ca’ di Rajo winery. Credit: Vigili de Fuoco/X

The horrific accident was captured on the winery's surveillance footage, which has yet to be released.

Chief Prosecutor Marco Martani said preliminary information indicates "no one should have entered that autoclave" and suggested that specialized equipment and an external company should have been engaged for the malfunction. The incident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed as of yet.

“We are overwhelmed by grief. For us, these people are two brothers, two sons," winery owner Simone Cecchetto told Tribuna di Treviso. “We pray for the injured young man, for his prompt recovery.”

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Bettolini has been fondly remembered by his co-workers. Credit: Ca di Rajo Wines/Facebook

Bettolini, who had been with the company since 2018 as a winemaker and cellar manager, was praised by colleagues for his dedication. A colleague described him as a "very generous and reserved person" in an interview with La Repubblica.

As well as being a winemaker, Bettolini's LinkedIn profile states that he was also an agronomist specializing in soil management and crop production. He also worked as a consultant for various wine companies, sharing his expertise widely within the industry.

Veneto President Luca Zaia expressed his deepest condolences, while also questioning: "Why today? Why so much pain to those who certainly didn't deserve it?"

Following this heartbreaking incident, Ca’ di Rajo’s employees banded together to leave a bouquet of flowers in the cellar.

"Alberto and Marco are two brothers for me and for all of us," coworker Andrea Zanella told La Repubblica.

Our thoughts go out to everybody impacted by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Vigili de Fuoco/X

Winemaker reportedly drowns in vat of wine after trying to save younger co-worker

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

In a tragedy that unfolded in the world-renowned Ca’ di Rajo winery in northeastern Italy, a winemaker has reportedly drowned in a vat of fermenting wine while attempting to save his younger co-worker.

The incident has reignited conversations around workplace safety, especially in high-risk environments such as wineries where intoxicating fumes are present, per the New York Post.

As reported by The Telegraph, 46-year-old Marco Bettolini lost his balance and fell into the wine vat after being struck by dizziness from nitrogen gases released during the winemaking process.

It's believed that his colleague, 31-year-old Alberto Pin, entered the autoclave of the vat around 2:00PM to fix malfunctioning taps but quickly fell ill from the overpowering fumes. Trying to rescue Pin, Bettolini also succumbed to the noxious gases, falling a few feet and hitting his head at the bottom of the vat, according to the local newspaper, Tribuna di Treviso.

Pin was promptly taken to a hospital in Teviso and is currently in a medically-induced coma after having his heart restarted, as per News Italy 24.

size-large wp-image-1263228775
The tragedy occurred at the Ca’ di Rajo winery. Credit: Vigili de Fuoco/X

The horrific accident was captured on the winery's surveillance footage, which has yet to be released.

Chief Prosecutor Marco Martani said preliminary information indicates "no one should have entered that autoclave" and suggested that specialized equipment and an external company should have been engaged for the malfunction. The incident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed as of yet.

“We are overwhelmed by grief. For us, these people are two brothers, two sons," winery owner Simone Cecchetto told Tribuna di Treviso. “We pray for the injured young man, for his prompt recovery.”

size-large wp-image-1263228777
Bettolini has been fondly remembered by his co-workers. Credit: Ca di Rajo Wines/Facebook

Bettolini, who had been with the company since 2018 as a winemaker and cellar manager, was praised by colleagues for his dedication. A colleague described him as a "very generous and reserved person" in an interview with La Repubblica.

As well as being a winemaker, Bettolini's LinkedIn profile states that he was also an agronomist specializing in soil management and crop production. He also worked as a consultant for various wine companies, sharing his expertise widely within the industry.

Veneto President Luca Zaia expressed his deepest condolences, while also questioning: "Why today? Why so much pain to those who certainly didn't deserve it?"

Following this heartbreaking incident, Ca’ di Rajo’s employees banded together to leave a bouquet of flowers in the cellar.

"Alberto and Marco are two brothers for me and for all of us," coworker Andrea Zanella told La Repubblica.

Our thoughts go out to everybody impacted by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Vigili de Fuoco/X