LA TRIBUNE (France)
BORDEAUX – Bordeaux wines have become so popular in China, reports La Tribune, that they are now widely targeted by counterfeiters.
Wine consumption in China – a relatively new phenomenon – has doubled in the past five years, and should continue to become more and more mainstream. So much so that China is now Bordeaux wines' number one export destination. A huge market, which represents about 600 million euros a year, according to La Tribune.
That's the upside. The downside is: as more and more bottles of Bordeaux are sold in China, so is the number of counterfeit wines. "One in two bottles of Lafite-Rothschild in China is a fake," says James de Roany, president of the French Foreign Trade Wine And Spirits Committee. The increase in counterfeit wines has had a devastating effect on the prices of high-end "grand cru" labels sold in China. A bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 2008 fell from 1819 euros in 2008 to 1152 euros in 2009.
Faced with this growing problem, the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) has developed an innovative solution: a free smart-phone app that scans the bottles' barcodes to determine if the wine is real or fake.