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Capozzi Winery | Pinotblogger: the Capozzi Winery blog | Page 7
Public prosecutor Francis Battut told news agency AFP the police were looking [...]
Publications - LVMH: Champagne Hurt but Spirits "Withstood the Storm" - Wine & Spirits Daily
Prosecutor Francis Battut told Decanter that "executives from Sieur d'Arques maintain they were unaware the wine they were selling to their American client was not Pinot Noir, even though one of their own winemakers admitted it.
I think they were mocking the court."
After conducting a year-long investigation, Battut
says the defendants "knowingly" cut pinot noir with less-expensive merlot and syrah.
recommended prison sentences and heavy fines to a three-person tribunal in Carcassonne.
Following an investigation that lasted ...
Following an investigation that lasted over a year, French public prosecutor Francis Battut arraigned the accused before a three-person tribunal in Carcassonne, recommending prison sentences and heavy fines.
The 13 defendants include executives from two wineries and five co-operatives, as well as negociant Ducasse and conglomerate Sieur d'Arques.
Only the latter denied the charges.
'The executives from Sieur d'Arques maintain they were unaware the wine they were selling to their American client was not Pinot Noir, even though one of their own winemakers admitted it,' Battut told decanter.com.
'I think they were mocking the court.'
Between 2006 and 2008, Sieur d'Arques allegedly sold 135,000 hectolitres of vin de Pays d'Oc labelled Pinot Noir to E&J Gallo for €4m (£350m).
However the total production from those supplying the French distributors amounted to 15,000 hectolitres a year.
Battut said the case proves the defendants were knowingly involved in cutting the Pinot Noir with much less costly Merlot and Syrah, delivering the equivalent of 16m bottles, or 460 oil tankers - and making a profit.
According to French newspaper La Dépêche, one of the accused said that had the suppliers 'been asked to put Yoplait on the label, they would have' in order to satisfy customer demand.
Battut has recommended fines and gaol terms approaching the maximum allowed: a year in prison and a fine of €40,000 (£35,000) for broker Claude Courset of Ducasse; €180,000 (£157,000) against Sieur d'Arques; and various fines and terms (some suspended) for the others.
'The economic consequences of this case could be critical,' said Battut
Wine Articles IV - 1 March
The sentences, the latest in a long history of French wine swindles, were lighter than those requested by Francis Battut, the prosecutor, when the case was tried on January 25.
After the verdicts Mr Battut
said: "If Americans lose confidence in French wine production, particularly the
wine » Why Travel To France
"If Americans lose confidence in French wine production, particularly the Languedoc region, which is already going through a serious crisis, the consequences could be terrible," prosecutor Francis Battut told AFP.