Recently, there have been two cases of wine counterfeiting in Europe, one involving the falsification of wine labels and the other involving the use of real bottles for fake wine and selling them at high prices online.
Image courtesy of: Wine Research
Major Spanish wine company suspected of falsifying wine labels
Recently, new allegations have emerged in a major wine fraud case in Spain.
Two of Spain"s largest wine companies, Felix Solis and J Garca Carrin, are suspected of falsifying wine labels by labeling new wines as aged, including Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva Valdepeas DO, according to foreign media reports.
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According to the local authorities of Castilla La Mancha, Felix Solis, J Garca Carrin and Bodega Navarro Lopez, were suspected of selling wine with falsified labels in Spain and around the world back in 2018.
In a recent development in the case, Jesus Martin, president of the Valdepeas DO Wine Regulatory Commission, said that the wine producer of Castilla La Mancha Valdepeas DO is also facing a hefty fine for having false wine labels on wines sold in 2019.
According to a report in March of this year, according to the Spanish business newspaper El Economista, the sales of wines that are labeled as aged in 2019 were 29.7 million liters, while Valdepeas officially announced that the actual sales of aged wines were 15.9 million liters. However, Martin said that the certification of these wines must be reviewed in order to compare it with the data in the Authority's internal report.
Previously, facing proceedings, Felix Solis and J Garca Carrin began pulling the wool over each other's eyes, accusing each other of using improper tactics in the fight to control the Valdepeas Wine Commission. in August 2019, the wine company owned by J Garca Carrin filed a legal action against Felix Solis, accusing it of falsifying documents. In a separate statement, Felix Solis called J Garca Carrin defamatory, claiming that the company used unfair competition to launch a commercial attack.
Faced with this latest allegation, on Monday Felix Solis UK managing director Richard Cochrane said that the Valdepeas DO wines sold in the UK met all the required standards of correctness and that they had been audited by a third party. The investigation is continuing.
Image courtesy of: Wine Research
Counterfeit Italian fine wines
Meanwhile, Italian police, with the support of Europol, raided a network of wine counterfeiters.
The police raids, which took place across eight Italian provinces, searched for a ring that was selling counterfeit fine Italian wines online.
Police took action because an investigation revealed that an online auction platform was selling premium wines that were actually filled with inferior wines. The wines were sold to Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States.
Europol said in a statement that these counterfeit wines circulated to the end are often consumed by unsuspecting customers in bars and restaurants. According to the criminal organization busted by police, they collected empty bottles of real wine through restaurants and then filled them with cheap wine from different sources, using cheap wine purchased from the Internet or discount stores. The bottles were sealed using cork corks and counterfeit capsules that were different or similar in color to the original bottles. Finally, packaging film and fake guarantee seals are used to conceal the lack of visible security markings on the capsules.
Europol says that once they establish contact with buyers online, counterfeiters extend promotional offers, setting prices far below those normally seen on the market. 1.5-liter magnums of certain counterfeit wines often cost more than 1,000 euros per bottle.