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Missouri agency warns bottles from Eldon winery could explode

Missouri agency warns bottles from Eldon winery could explode

April 25th, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News
Applesauced is one of six types of bottled wine manufactured by Casa de Loco in Eldon that the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control warned Thursday, April 25, 2019, pose the risk of exploding. The other wines are Casa de Loco's Bellini Gold, Coming in Hot, Kona Lover Port, OCD, and Peachy Thoughts.

Applesauced is one of six types of bottled...

Photo by Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

The owner of an Eldon winery says he's working with state officials after bottles of some of their wine were found to pose the risk of exploding.

The Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued a warning Thursday that six types of bottled wine manufactured by Casa de Loco may pose a danger of exploding.

The products noted include Applesauced, Bellini Gold, Coming in Hot, Kona Lover Port, OCD, and Peachy Thoughts.

Casa de Loco never submitted these wines to ATC for product brand registration, which includes review and product evaluation, as required by Missouri law, according to an ATC news release.

"We've been in contact with authorities and the businesses where the wines were sold and have told them to pull the products," Casa de Loco owner Larry Owens told the News Tribune. "We feel it may have something to do with how the wines are stored once they leave our facility. We put on the label to keep it chilled or cooled, which is what we do here, and we haven't any problems. Once it leaves us, then how it's stored at the businesses, we can't control."

The six known unregistered Casa de Loco wines have been distributed to retailers in the following Missouri locations ATC is aware of: Camdenton, Glasgow, Keytesville, Lebanon, Newburg, Osage Beach, Salisbury, St. Joseph, St. Robert, Stoutland, Sunrise Beach, Warsaw and Wright City.

The wines may also have been distributed directly by Casa de Loco to consumers at events in other locations, according to ATC.

In addition to a bottle of Casa de Loco wine exploding after being confiscated by ATC, there have been several additional reported explosions of Casa de Loco wine bottles.

"We'd had a lot of compliments on some of these wines when we served them, and we came up with the idea to bottle and sell them," Owens said. "We had no idea we'd run into the problems like this."

The ATC advises any consumer or retailer with the unregistered Casa de Loco products to call the ATC office at 573-751-2964 to report when and where they purchased the wine.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is also investigating Casa de Loco for potential health and sanitation violations at its Eldon manufacturing premises, according to the ATC news release.

DHSS recommends any consumer or retailer with bottles of the affected wine products contain the product and store it in a location where it will be more secure should it explode.

DHSS also recommends that consumers who purchased the products contact the retailer as to any recourse available.

ATC is conferring with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a section of the U.S. Department of the Treasurythat regulates and collects taxes on alcoholic products. In addition, DHSS is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The issue was discovered by ATC as a result of a routine inspection. After confiscating unregistered wine that was being distributed, a bottle exploded in an ATC evidence storage room. When ATC contacted retailers, it learned of additional explosions, as well as Casa de Loco wine bottles spontaneously breaking and leaking.

"We're going to send some samples off to a lab to get it tested to see if they can come up with any reasons for why this happened," Owens said.

Authorities are reviewing what actions Casa de Loco could face in light of these issues. The winery could be found in violation of manufacturing, wholesale and retail rules, Missouri Department of Public Safety Communications Director Mike O'Connell told the News Tribune.