Jean-Claude Fromont, CEO of Maison Fromont, has been arrested and accused of what could be a decade-long wine scam involving inferior wine being marketed and sold as “Chablis.” According to Wine Searcher, the head of the French wine company has now been jailed for blending inferior wines from the south with Chablis while continuing to label them as “Chablis.”
Deputy Prosecutor Frédérique Olivaux revealed that the investigation began six months ago when tax officials discovered some irregularities. Olivaux added that the magnitude of the fraud is not yet knows, only that it lasted around 10 years and that the damage done could have major effects on volume and the reputation of the appellation.
Other parties, including Fromont’s cellar master and a freight company were also investigated but never jailed. The wines used to blend with the Chablis to create the falsely marketed wine are believed to have come from Provence and the Rhône Valley, where Maison Fromont also has other vineyards.
Understandably, other Chablis winegrowers were shocked and concerned by the news – hoping that the if the fraud is proved to be true, any negative associations don’t tarnish the reputation of Chablis wines and it’s appellation. [Wine Searcher][Photo: Flickr/Wendy Harman]