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Winemaker Promises 'Painful Death' for Thieves Who Stole $50,000 in Grapes

"Please know a slow and lingering death will never be long enough for you and no amount of pain you could endure will [be] great enough."
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Photo by Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

After eight months of meticulous pruning, tending to his soil, and fiddling with his vines, winemaker David Dunkenberger woke up Tuesday morning ready to finally start harvesting his vineyard. But when he walked out onto his three-and-a-half acre field in rural Virginia, almost his entire crop—roughly $50,000 worth of grapes—had been stolen.

According to the Roanoke Times, nearly two-and-a-half tons of grapes had been cut straight from the vine at Firefly Hill Vineyards in the dead of night, pilfered by a crack team of highly-skilled wine thieves, Dunkenberger suspects. Seeing as the grapes weren't covered by insurance, it's a pretty severe loss. But the dollar amount doesn't really seem to be the thing that's sent the winemaker into a boundless, Biblical-level fury.


"Yes the financial loss hurts… What hurts the most is what they stole from my spirit and heart," Dunkenberger wrote, unleashing his wrath upon his Facebook friends. "Cherished memories spoiled by a bunch of low life, no soul, heartless excuses for human beings… Please know a slow and lingering death will never be long enough for you and no amount of pain you could endure will [be] great enough."

Things somehow only escalated from there, when Dunkenberger doubled down on that whole wishing-a-painful-death-upon-thine-enemies thing, ramping up his vaguely Olde English, Chaucerian tirade against the nameless thieves:

All this from a guy whose Facebook profile picture is an innocent snapshot of his two young, smiling daughters standing before a lush green field. A man who's reportedly spent years tirelessly working to harvest his crops alongside his friends and family. A winemaker who now has less than 200 pounds of grapes left to his name.

The cops are investigating who could've possibly had the know-how to snip all those grapes off the vine in a single night—a job that could have taken days—but so far, they don't have any leads. Meanwhile, Firefly Hill has been forced to shut down due to the loss, while the winemaking family continues its "grieving process."

Here's to hoping Dunkenberger, the Liam Neeson of wine, catches the thieves, but manages to restrain himself from ripping them apart limb by limb.

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