Grapes of wrath: Wine fraud leaves a sour taste

Why unscrupulous wine makers may be tempted to blend their products with inferior grapes

In November, the owner of three Bordeaux chateaux was fined €8million and sentenced to two years in prison for fraud after being found guilty of buying cheap wine to blend with his own, which benefits from being labelled as prestigious Appellation d'Origine Protégé (AOP) such as Saint-Emilion.

The large difference in price that wine from one AOP can command compared to others has long been a temptation to unscrupulous wine producers and traders (negociants). It was once quite commonplace for wines from Algeria to be sold on the black market to bolster many famous wines of France, resulting in an old joke that the only town ...

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