Last week, Italian police confiscated 30,000 bottles of fake wine from warehouses, grocery stores and restaurants according to The Daily Beast. The bottles in question were labeled with designations like Brunello, Chianti Classico and Sagrantino di Montefalco, but the investigation proved that they “contained common table wine that is only worth about a dollar a liter.”
Since suspicions were raised three years ago, wine specialists and the police have concluded that exporters have been replacing expensive vintages with substandard, poor-quality wine. Further investigation showed that the “practice was also affecting wines consumed in Italy.” Six people have been placed under surveillance so far.
“The whole thing took place far from Montalcino and exposed characters that have nothing to do with the world of wine and the territory,” said Fabrizio Bindocci, Italy’s Tuscan Brunello wine consortium chief. “It was introduced into the supply chain with the objective to fraudulently take advantage of the trust created by those who have focused heavily on the quality and transparency.”
The scam is a reminiscent of Rudy Kurniawan, a wine fraud in the United States who made more than $20 million selling counterfeit wines made from his home in California. Kurniawan was found guilty late last year, and will be sentenced in July. [The Daily Beast] [Photo: Ariane Middel]