SEVERAL Spanish wineries under investigation for fraud and false advertising
Several wine producers in the Valdepenas region are being investigated after a complaint was made that their crianza, reserve and gran reserve varieties, which are sold throughout Spain, “did not meet the production requirements, either in the minimum period of aging, or in the permanence in oak barrels or in the bottle.” The Prosecutor’s Office has lodged a file with the National Court to investigate four major wineries of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) of Valdepeñas: Félix Solís, García Carrión, Bodegas Navarro López and Bodegas Fernando Castro.
On April 5, Judge José Luis Calama heard the serious complaints of misleading advertising, fraud and document falsification, according to Spanish daily Diario de Sevilla. According to the judge, the labels on the bottles of wine indicate whether they are reserve or gran reserve, something which he ruled is “misleading” as the alcohol “has been made without having respected the barrel aging times indicated in the specifications.”
The court has now called on the Specialized and Violent Crime Unit (UDEV) and the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the Police to determine exactly how many bottles of the offending plonk have been sold and for how much.
The manufacturers are also accused with selling far more litres of the wine that was declared to the Regulatory Council, a body that imposes strict guidelines on the production and sale of wine advertised as Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) Valdepeñas. The judge does not seem inclined to show leniency, as he pointed out that all wineries involved have been operating their businesses for several years and know what is expected of them.
“Indeed, the fact that the wineries declare to the regional administration a quantity of wine sold to customers and that they declare different quantities, much higher than those declared by the wineries, is an indication of a lack of traceability of the wine, thus as of irregularities in the commercialisation,” he said