Italian Wine News


Fraud: Italian Table Wine Ready to be Sold as DOC
Staff Writer – December 14, 2006

A blitz by the Corpo Forestale dello Stato (an Italian branch of police in charge of agricultural- and food-related frauds) brought checks and seizures in various wineries in the provinces of Ravenna and Bologna, as well in the Piedmont, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions.

Pouring wine

The sting, nicknamed Nozze di Cana (Canaan Wedding), uncovered an attempt of fraud, with table wine ready to be released on the Italian market as Pinot Grigio IGT, Prosecco and Pinot Noir DOC.  Search, administrative and technical controls took place on December 12 in about 15 wineries in the regions of Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The officers of the Corpo Forestale are currently checking the in and out registers, recorded stock, capacity of barrels and vats, and sales receipts in the provinces of Padova, Vicenza and Verona in the Veneto region; in the provinces of Ravenna and Bologna in Emilia Romagna; in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, and in the province of Udine, in Friuli.

The operation resulted in the seizure of large amounts of wine and saw the collaboration of various police branches, including officers of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato from the provinces of Vicenza, Verona, Cuneo and Ravenna; Agents of the Nucleo Investigativo di Polizia Ambientale Forestale (Investigative Unit of the Environment and Forest Police) from Vicenza and Verona; the Ispettorato Centrale Repressione Frodi del Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (Central Investigative Unit for Fraud Suppression of the Agriculture Ministry Office); the NAS (Special Investigative Unit) of the Carabinieri (kind of Italian military police corps) from Padova; and the Guardia di Finanza (administrative and customs police), which participated with a K9 unit.

The investigation was coordinated by the district attorney office of Vicenza. The inquiries began about three months ago with a series of minor investigations by the Nucleo Controllo Regolamenti Comunitari (Center for the Control of the EU Rules), in collaboration with the Nucleo Agroalimentare e Forestale (Agriculture, Food and Forest Center) of Rome's Ispettorato Generale (General Inspection Office).

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