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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Friday, 03 September 2010 10:49

Chinese Expertise for Fake Wines

While China is struggling to improve quality of its self produced domestic wines, the legendry Chinese expertise to copy and produce fake goods has started making inroads in the wine market, with several fake labels imitating  top quality wines being caught on bottles filled with cheap Chinese products.

Several recent incidents of Australian wines which have been climbing the popularity charts at a neck breaking speed have prompted the frustrated Australian winemakers to demand a diplomatic action. As might be expected, there has been no response or action from Chinese officials so far according to a report.

A case in point is that of a South Australian winery Flinders Ranges which noticed their ‘Flinders Run’ label being used on the fake wine bottles, following a tip-off from a Hong Kong-based consultancy, Wine Protection Group.

The producers fear a double-edged sword on their neck. Not only does the fake product cut into their own legitimate sales and market, the consumer is left with a bad taste on the palate about their product. Australians who are at an early stage of doing business in China feel it could quickly destroy their industry. In fact, they seem to have enough faith in their own government to do something in order to protect their market and name, and that of their nation’s wines.

According to the 2010 Australian Wine Society report, China recorded the largest increase in bottled shipments during the past year. The shipments went up 71 percent, bringing the total wine sales to 20 million liters.

This counterfeit incident does not appear to be an isolated case for fake wines. Earlier this year at a Chinese trade fair Penfolds was branded as Benfolds. However Foster’s, the   parent company owning the label, moved in quickly to have the activity shut down- something smaller producers feel unable to do as it is a very lucrative business and they do not have enough resources to stop the practice..

Whatever China can do, India can potentially do better. The fake bottlers of Johnny Walker and other popular scotch labels have a field day in India. There is a continuing joke in the cocktail circuit in India, where people quip that India consumes more Johnny Walker than produced in Scotland. These fraudsters won’t lose a moment when the market for wines becomes lucrative for them to fake the labels. It would be in the interest of the producers and law making authorities that they perceive this future threat and have proper and strict laws and systems in place to nip the evil in the bud’.


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