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May 30, 2022 View:

Leading Bordeaux wine merchant GVG fined $500,000 for producing wines of unknown origin

Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG), a leading Bordeaux wine merchant, has been fined $500,000 for producing 600,000 liters of untraceable wine, which was reportedly sold at a high price with the labels of famous Bordeaux regions on the glasses.

Image from: Wine Click

The company"s transgressions were discovered in 2014 when, during an audit, another wine merchant company, Borie Manoux, owned by GVG's owners, the Castja family (who also own the 1855 Grand Cru Chteau Batailley Batailley), was short 200,000 liters of wine, while GVG was just over 200,000 liters.

The Bordeaux court prosecutor said in March that GVG's actions were suspected of fraud, with the company illegally mixing wines from different AOC regions, vintages and even chateaux, including passing off ordinary table wines as IGP wines or selling the 2011 vintage as the 2012 vintage. The total value of all the wines involved amounted to 1.2 million euros. This case is considered one of the biggest scandals in Bordeaux.

GVG was ordered to pay half of the total fine amount on the spot, while the other half was suspended. In addition to the company, GVG's head of purchasing at the time, Eric Marin, was also sentenced to a 15,000 euro fine, although the payment of the fine was also suspended. According to local media reports, this is not the only case of fraud being investigated by Bordeaux wine merchants, so more may be punished in the future.

Image from: Wine Click

GVG is one of the largest wine merchants (Negociant) in Bordeaux, working with more than 200 estates covering all the AOC appellations in Bordeaux, and has been operating wines in Bordeaux for more than 187 years, with an annual turnover of 130 million euros. Therefore, the fine of $500,000 is a small percentage of GVG"s annual turnover and is not a severe penalty.