A recent sting operation in Italy targeted entities tied to wine production, including bottling companies and vineyards. Why? Because what they stated was in the bottle wasn’t actually the case.
Now, more than 50 groups involved in wine production are under investigation for diluting expensive wines with mediocre grapes.
The issue isn’t whether or not the wines are safe to drink. They are.
It’s that the wines are not what they’re advertised to be. Many Italian wines have different classifications such as DOP and DOC, with guarantees that a level of quality in the grapes that are used, and the process used to make those wines.
The companies in question are reportedly not following those strict guidelines, but still putting the classification on the wine as if they had.
The companies under investigation include wines made in Pordenone, Udine, Treviso, Venice, Padova, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ravenna, Florence, Livorno, Naples, and several cities in Puglia, The Daily Beast reports.
The investigation targets not only the winemakers but also the inspectors that allowed the fraudulent wines to receive classifications they were not entitled to.
Investigators thing weather conditions in Italy led to underproduction of grapes in the high-cost area.
The fraudulent wine is thought to have been primarily exported, while the wine made with grapes from better regions were likely left in the country.