As if foreign wine wasn’t floundering enough in China with the anti-corruption crackdown and all, half of all Château Lafite sold in China might actually be counterfeit, according to a Senior Chinese official. Jing Daily reports:
Decanter reports that Li Xinshi, president of the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine (CAIQ), stated this estimate at a recent conference in Bordeaux announcing the Chinese government’s launch of a new initiative called Protected Eco-Origin Product (PEOP) to protect against wine fraud. According to him, the bulk of fake wines are being manufactured on boats moored in international waters off the coast of the mainland, where low-end wines are bottled in containers with high-end labels. While he was unable to say how many boats with these operations exist, he described the problem of fake wine in China as “very serious.”
Indeed, counterfeiting methods have grown more sophisticated over the years, evolving from simply slapping a label with bad chinglish on a bottle of grape swill to blending real Lafite with mid-level French wines and loading the result in recycled Lafite bottles.
Fortunately, Advanced Track and Trade (ATT), has come up with a plan to help Bordeaux producers combat this. Taking after Australian wine producers, they’ve devised a number of both visible and invisible label codes that consumers can scan with their smartphones.
However, seeing how counterfeiters have pirated codes as intricate and specific as the ones on hairy crab tags, we figure it’s only a matter of time before they copy the wine ones as well.