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Saturday 29 October 2022

French wine fraud scandal unveiled in court

The Bordeaux wine industry is bracing for another scandal after investigators discovered an alleged fraud scheme which saw up to five million bottles of cheap Spanish wine labelled as being French.

The Times and Drinks Business reported this week that prosecutors say the scheme generated about €4 million between 2013 and 2019.

Five suspects are facing trial in Bordeaux after being charged with fraud and could potentially face sentences of up seven years in jail. 

The prosecutor's office has called for five-year jail terms for the offender, Sud Ouest newspaper reported. 

Some of the bottles found to be part of the scam contained wines bought for a few Euros a litre but sold as high-end Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Saint-Julien and Margaux wines from Bordeaux.

The rest was sold as French table wine, which still demand a higher price than their Spanish counterparts.

The enquiry centres on Celliers Vinicoles du Blayais, producers north of Bordeaux, who allegedly imported cheap wines from Spain after becoming concerned that they would be unable to fulfil orders.

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