Counterfeits and Other Problems
Some experts estimate that as much as 5% of the fine wine secondary market involves fake wines. From grape juice shipped across borders to acquire a famous region's kudos, to clean-skins labeled with illustrious names and ancient vintages - the full range of trickery occurs on a regular basis.
Over the years, there have been numerous instances of counterfeiting and fraudulent practices around the wine world and as wine's popularity gains new grounds, the challenges facing the industry have only increased. Many irregular practices came into light in 2010, like the infamous Red Bicyclette scandal, fake premium Fitou winesfinding there way into the Chinese market and a host of labeling manipulations in China involving top-end Bordeauxs. An interesting articleappeared on Financial Times in mid 2009, authored by Jancis Robinson, dealing with large scale counterfeiting of a top Burgundy producer's wines.
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March 28, 2011

Offshore raids turn up fake Aussie Jacob's Creek wines
RAIDS by council inspectors in London have turned up hundreds of bottles of counterfeit wines from China labelled as well-known Australian brand Jacob's Creek, The Advertiser reports. Havering Council officers seized 340 bottles of fake Jacob's Creek from 19 bottle shops across the borough in recent weeks.
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15th February, 2011
How to spot counterfeit wine

"More than a quarter of licensed premises in some areas of the country have been found to be selling counterfeit alcohol. Trading Standards says it is a growing problem and there are concerns fake alcohol is being made by organised gangs on an industrial scale in the UK. Counterfeit alcohol tends to be rebottled wine, where cheaper wine is poured into a more expensive bottle, or fake alcohol which is made in illegal factories in the UK."
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10th December, 2010
Counterfeit Wine Problems in Russia

Russia imports 250 million liters of wine every year, and yet 30% is counterfeit. This is the verdict of market experts. One reason for this is that there is no definition of a "natural product".
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10th November, 2010
South Africa: Couple in Court on Wine Fraud Charges

A South African couple has been brought up on charges with respect to a claim on wine fraud. Kobus Terblanche, a former DGB executive (DGB is one of South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirits producers and distributors), and his wife had their passports seized upon their return to South Africa after a trip to Europe.

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18th February, 2010
Pinot evil: French court finds 12 guilty in Gallo faux pinot

A French court found 12 executives guilty of selling the equivalent of 18 million bottles of cheaper wine as pinot noir. The buyer was California’s E&J Gallo for their Red Bicyclette brand, which sells for about $9 a bottle.AFP reportsthat generic red wines fetched 45 Euros (about $62) per one hundred liters while the premium pinot noir fetched 97 Euros. One of the firms involved had been paying 58 Euros for the wines it sold to Gallo. The accused made seven million Euros ($9.5 million) in the scheme. The defendants, from two firms, received suspended jail sentences and fines between 3,000 and 45,000 Euros.Reuters reportsthat one firm, Sieur D’Arques, had to pay a fine of 180,000 Euros.
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26th June, 2009
Are Empty Wine Bottles on eBay Being Used for Counterfeiting?

By ROBIN GOLDSTEIN
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27th April, 2009
A LABEL AGAINST THE FRAUDS ON THE WINE

It is estimated that 30% of the wine bottles sold in Europe are falsified. Some countries as China even recognize that 70% of the imported wines are falsified. In this context, the operational technical centre of wine (CTOV), in Spain, announced the development of a label including a security system very similar to the one used on banknotes and some identity documents. This adhesive label, we can easily apply between the neck and the stopper of the bottles includes an invisible code and an encrypted system storing informations on each wine, cellar, vineyard... Each wine producer would be in charge to activate itself its own labels via a CTOV patented technology. This system would cost only 3 centimes Euro by bottle.
Source : World Press

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9th February, 2009
Vin de Pays d’Oc in massive US fraud scandal
by Oliver Styles

Several hundred thousand hectolitres of Vin de Pays d’Oc was fraudulently sold and exported to the US over the last four years, it has emerged.
According to reports, between 2005 and 2008, over 120,00hl (hectolitres) of falsely-labelled Pinot Noir was sold every year to the US via negociants and wine companies in the Aude region.
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3rd September, 2008
CONDEMNED FOR SALE OF GREAT WINES MIXED WITH COMMON WINE

A couple of Rmistes was condemned to eight month of suspended sentence to have sold on the E-Bay Internet site nearly 200 bottles of French great wines largely crossed with common beverage wine.
Source : REUTERS
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10th, September, 2008
Authorities Bust Counterfeit Wine Operation in Southern Hungary

Financial guards raided a wine bottling plant and caught wine counterfeiters in Soltvadkert, Bács-Kiskun County, at the end of last month, reports Vg.hu. A total of 36,000 liters of counterfeit wine, enough to a tanker truck, was seized.
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7th April, 2008
BRUNELLO'S WINE SUSPECTED OF "COMMERCIAL FRAUD"

A true Brunello must be made only from grapes cloned from the Sangiovese variety identified by the pioneering Montalcino vintner Clemente Santi in the 19th century. But the investigators believe that some producers were mixing 15 per cent of other grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon, with the cloned Sangiovese.
Source : The Independent
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4th April, 2008
TAINTED WINE FOR SALE IN ITALY

The weekly magazine Espresso reported that 70 million litres of cheap wine on sale in local shops and supermarkets could contain illegal, harmful substances
Source : Europe news
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15th January, 2008
The Cost of Counterfeits

Don't be fooled. Find out about this growing threat to wineries and what you can do to protect your brand and bottom line.
by Janice H. Nickel, Henry Sang Jr
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14th January, 2008
FALSE CHAMPAGNE DESTROYED IN BELGIUM

3200 wine bottles originating from United States and falsely designated as Champagne were destroyed this week by the Belgian customs administration. Since the coming into force in 2004 of new Community legislation which enables Member States to intervene at the borders against goods suspected of infringing geographical indications, 14000 bottles have been destroyed.
Source : RTL-Info
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23rd August, 2007
Police uncover Italian wine fraud

Police have broken up an international counterfeit wine racket involving top Italian wines. German and Italian police forces have uncovered a cross-border scam involving table wine from Puglia and Piedmont sold as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Amarone and Chianti.
by Maggie Rosen
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7th May, 2007
WINES WITH COUNTERFEIT ORIGIN IN THE CZECH MARKET

Roughly 5.5 millions of liters of wine with false certificate of origin or without any certificate were detected by Czech Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA). Wines were passed off as a production of domestic origin.
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4th May, 2007
On the market with counterfeit wine was originally

About 5.5 million liters of wine with counterfeit origin or quite this document revealed the circulation of State Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA).Wine, although not unsafe, but it was a fraud on consumers, because the drinks were issued for domestic production. Where exactly originated is not known…
Source : NOVINKY.CZ
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2nd March, 2007
WINE SCANDAL IN BELGIUM

French wine with false label has been identified in Belgium. 500.000 liters of AOC wine blended with simple wine table will be destroyed.
Source : La Dernière Heure
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4th June, 1998
Bordeaux Winemaker Is Charged With Fraud Over Contents of Its Products

In what could become France's biggest wine scandal in decades, one of Bordeaux's most prestigious wine properties, Chateau Giscours, has been charged with fraudulent winemaking practices.
One of the current winemakers and a former managing director of the chateau's wine operations have been indicted for fraud by a Bordeaux magistrate.
According to the charges, disclosed on Monday, cheap wine from another district was added to the chateau's wine, wine from two different vintages were blended together, excess sugar was added to the wine to raise the alcohol content, and wood chips were used to give some of the chateau's wine the taste and smell of wine that had been aged in oak barrels.
By FRANK J. PRIAL
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