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02.2010

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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A NEW SCANDAL IN TUSCANY

It’s been a rough couple of years for the Italian wine industry. Following the scandal in May of 2OO8 when hundreds of thousands of Brunello were impounded (and the sale of the 2OO3 vintage suspended) amid suspicions of adulteration, Italian authorities now suspect some 1O million liters of Tuscan wine may have been blended illegally. Italy’s Treasury Department and the Italian Agriculture Ministry are said to be investigating quantities of current-release that may have been made using blending wines of inferior quality not allowed by appellation regulations. The wines are from Chianti DOCG, Toscana IGT Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino. According to reports in Italian newspapers, 17 people and 42 companies are under investigation for falsifying public documents with the intent to commit fraud. While the investigation has focused primarily on Tuscany, producers in the regions of Abruzzo, Trentino, Piedmont, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna are suspected of having played a role in the adulteration of Tuscan wines.

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