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Friday, July 13, 2007

We are reaching the bottom!!!

In today's news from Italy, the Guardia di Finanza, one of the Italian Police forces, seized 24,000 Hectoliters (572,000 gallons ca) of white table wine that was supposed to be sold fraudulently as Prosecco and Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie!!!
7 people have been indicted for making simple white table wine and bottling it as an IGT (indicazione geografica tipica) or as the refreshing sparkling wine from the Veneto Region. The thought... it's just unbelievable. It's like doing a cheaper version of something that is already very inexpensive.
The grapes were coming from wineries that were struggling (from Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany and Friuli Venezia Giulia); all of a sudden, they were turning in high profits, and with a complicated system of fake invoices and other documents, they were able to pass off the lowest grade of Italian wine for a little better than the lowest grade of Italian wine!
Yes, that's right - we're not talking of Sassicaia or vintage Bordeaux being counterfeited and passed off yielding high profit for the forgers. We're talking about people who were cheating on wines that are sold for only a few Euros at the wineries.
But! The amount of wine seized by the police was enough for 3,200,000 bottles. even if they could have made a profit margin of 1 euro per bottle, it's still a very good return for one year. But I have a feeling that the margins are much higher than that; I know for a fact that you can buy several thousand gallons of wine from Chile or Argentina and have it shipped to Italy for less then 50 Euro cents per liter. Then you'd be missing only the cork (a plastic cork can cost as low as 20 Euro cents), the label and the bottle (which can add other 15 cents for a total of 0.85 Euros!). Now if the same wine is sold as loose table wine, it has a value of about 1 to 1.5 Euros per bottle, depending on the quality. But if the same wine is marked Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie or Prosecco, it can be sold for 2 to 7 Euros, depending on quality. - In the end, that fraud could have brought in over four million Euros in profit. Absolutely unbelievable.
This one example (one very big example) of the truth in the phrase, "you get what you pay for," considering that those table wines are the bottles that end up on NYC store shelves for less than 6 dollars. Buyer beware!
Buona Bevuta a Tutti

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