A NEW MAJOR FRENCH WINE DECEPTION SCANDAL - THE CÔTES DU RHÔNE THAT WASN'T
France's consumer fraud body the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCDRF) this week confirmed that almost half a million hectolitres of wine - about 66.5million bottles - was falsely sold under the Côtes du Rhône AOC label. This latest scandal affecting the French wine industry represents about 15% of annual production of the area.
The inquiry into the 2017 case found “a massive misuse of the Côtes du Rhône AOC by a significant business”, the DGCCRF said. Some of the falsely sold wine - some 10,000 litres - was passed of as the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC.
The consumer body did not name the company involved but said the CEO was being investigated for “deception and fraud”. He had been placed under legal supervision after a bail payment of €1m, and had also been “banned from operating” in his own business, the report said. Further information given to television channel France 3 said that he was a négociant from Vaucluse.
The Revue du Vin de France reports a source close to the investigation saying that, the merchant is Raphael Michel , one of the main traders of Vaucluse , who specializes in bulk wine.
It describes itself as:
“We advise our clients during vinification, cuvee production and blend creation, in order to meet consumer expectations and to deliver first-class quality. Our range encompasses wines from the Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Provence and the South West which we supply to bottlers, wholesalers, winemakers and importers.”