Nearly 2.5 tons of grapes stolen from Virginia vineyard: Report

  • Nearly 2.5 tons of grapes were stolen from a vineyard in Virginia Monday night, resulting in $50,000 of lost wine profits, a wine maker told local television station WFXR News.
  • David Dunkenberger said it takes six to eight people about six hours to pick through one variety of grapes. Six varieties were stolen that night.
A man harvests the wine grapes on September 21, 2015 at the Muscadet vineyards of the Cognettes domain, in Clisson, near Nantes, western France.
Jean-Sebastian Evrard | Getty Images
A man harvests the wine grapes on September 21, 2015 at the Muscadet vineyards of the Cognettes domain, in Clisson, near Nantes, western France.

A Virginia winemaker awoke earlier this week to a very unpleasant surprise: Virtually all of the grapes in his vineyard had been stolen overnight, WFXR News reported on Friday.

According to the report, Firefly Hill Vineyards owner David Dunkenberger lost around 2.5 tons of grapes in the unusual robbery, after unidentified perpetrators stole the fruitful bounty from his field on Monday night.

The theft resulted in $50,000 of lost wine profits, Dunkenberger told WFXR, a local Fox affiliate based in Roanoke.

Dunkenberger said it only took him a minute to realize his vineyard was nearly picked clean, which appeared to have happened between the hours of 5 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday. Dunkenberger said it usually takes six to eight people about six hours to pick through one variety of grapes, and six varieties were stolen that night.

"Disbelief. I mean, how could it be anything but disbelief?" Dunkenberger said to Virginia First. He told the station that the crop was expected to make at least 1200 liters of wine.

Dunkenberger works a separate full-time job to allow him to keep the vineyard, which he is unsure he'll be able to do anymore.

The full story can be found on WFXR's website.