OPERATION RESACA – a cheekily termed operation meaning ‘hangover’ – has rid the Cadiz market of wines bearing false origin labels. A clandestine bodega had been bottling wine and affixing counterfeit labels, identifying them as Jerez-Xérés-Sherry and Manzanilla-Sanlúcar, and then selling them to vendors at fairs and events far below market value.
The bodega boss will be charged with offenses against industrial property, consumer fraud and sanctions for serious hygiene deficiencies relating to the processing, preservation and packaging of the products.
Police began the investigation after being alerted by SEPRONA, the Spanish Nature Protection Service, that batches of wine labelled “manzanilla especial para rebujito” had been sold to fair merchants for much less than it would cost to produce the drink. Police located the bodega, seized the illicit liquid and sent it to the health department for analysis, who noted various food safety deficiencies and called for the products to be pulled from consumer reach.
The fraudulent production created two main problems for the market, one of which was the introduction of a product at prices with which legitimate business could not compete. Secondly, the fraudulent labels and inferior product damage the reputation of the region as world-class producer of wine.