A total of 50,000 bottles of bootleg wine were discovered during a raid in the Chinese region of Hebei. The wine, which is valued at $14.4 million, was counterfeited to look like two popular wine brands: Penfolds, one of China’s most-popular imported wines brands, and Changyu, produced at China’s oldest winery.
The bottles were uncovered after police received a tip from an authorized distributor for Penfolds, the crown jewel of Australia’s wine giant, Treasury Wine Estates. While the majority of wines discovered were counterfeit Penfolds and Changyu bottles, othercounterfeit bottles from other wineries were also discovered, though brand names were not released by police.
While the investigation is still ongoing, 11 people have been arrested. According to official police statements, the fake wines were produced in Shangqiu, China, and distributed throughout 17 different Chinese provinces. The sales took place using the Chinese messaging app WeChat, which is the country’s most popular social media application.
On the other side of the world, a vineyard in the U.S. lost the majority of its vineyard’s harvest to thieves.