Monthly Archives October 2020

Operation “Bad Tuscan”: Counterfeit Luxury Wine Ring Broken by Eagle-Eyed Caribinieri in Year-Long Investigation

Italy’s renowned caribinieri are admirably sharp detectives of stolen or falsified Italian goods, be it Gucci counterfeits, Renaissance oils, antiques or, indeed, the finest drink. . It was therefore with a minimum of quiet celebration that two eagle-eyed financial police officers stumbled upon a recent and suspicious case of Bolgheri Sassicaia – a so-called “super Tuscan” wine from the famous Tenuta San Guido winery which is retails for around $ 400 a bottle. According to Florentine prosecutors who announced the case, police officers literally found a case lying on the street in Empoli, Tuscany. Two cell phone numbers officers found on a note inside the case led to the investigation.

The ring had a wide and professional reach: Customers in Russia, Hong Kong and China had ordered – in the past – credible cases of this product. The nominal wine inside the bottles masquerading as real was vinified in Sicily, a terroir about as far away from Tuscany as possible and still produce something that passes for Italian wine and a location for some of the oldest and most practiced criminal families in the world. The ring had the cases and labels made in Bulgaria, again, a place of Eastern European criminal families with superb technological capabilities and tentacles of influence reaching Western Europe, and the bottles were coming from Turkey.

Fortunately for the Italian Guardia di Finanza and for the Tenuta San Guido winery, investigators were, according to Florentine prosecutors who will prosecute the suspects father and son, able to prevent some 4,000 bottles from reaching the market. During the police raid on the warehouse where the two suspects were labeling bottles to be marketed, the labels affixed came from the famous 2015 vintage, recently ranked “best” red in the world by Wine spectator.

Financial Police Colonel Dario Sopranzetti said the suspects were producing some 700 files a month, and added that his investigators had not yet determined how long the operation had been going on. From telephone interceptions during the investigation, detectives were able to determine that the current charge was destined for South Korea, at an extremely suspicious bargain price of 500 euros per case. Normally, Bolghieri Sassicaia cases sell for between 1800 and 2400 euros for twelve bottles. The market value of the 4,000 bottles seized, or about 330 cases at a 70% discount from the counterfeiters, would have been approximately $ 170,000. Assuming a median price of $ 2,000 per case, if that price is now findable, the market value of 330 cases of the real thing would have been between $ 600,000 and $ 700,000.

Colonel Sopranzetti admired the quality of the treatment of counterfeiters during the press conference: “The bottles and the packaging were perfectly identical to the originals”, he declared. “Even the weight of the tissue paper was the same.”

In other words, the counterfeiters were sophisticated enough – and the operation was meticulously planned enough – to have delivered similar “outside” packaged value to their customers, if not in the actual product in the bottles, than the real Tenuta San Guido the winegrowers do it. The attention to detail of the counterfeiters testifies to their thoroughness and the fact that the operation was several times larger than them. Eleven other suspects are currently under investigation but are not yet under arrest.

Frankly speaking, it looks like there is more to come in the highly entertaining “Bad Tuscan” operation. Perhaps the most interesting question that remains unanswered is one that will hopefully be asked of counterfeiters, and that is: why do they price their product so strangely low?

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Demand for luxury wine cabinets explodes during lockdown – Show House

Spiral Cells, which offers a range of luxury wine storage solutions ranging from high-end cellars to beautiful handcrafted wine cellars, is targeting home builders following increased demand.

Spiral Cellars reported a huge increase in inquiries during the Covid-19 lockdown, with its website recording 130% more traffic in March and April this year.

These figures show that people are using the extra time at home to explore their wine collections and start looking for ways to organize them. Customers also have more time to research and take on projects they previously didn’t have time for when spending long days in the office.

Now, Spiral Cellars is targeting the construction and home improvement market with the launch of its new KIT ​​Spiral Cellars.

A Spiral Cellar KIT enables a construction or construction crew to independently install a luxury underground wine cellar without having to engage the additional services of a Spiral Cellars installation team.

Managing Director Lucy Hargreaves said: “We have had a huge increase in inquiries this year which has not slowed down after the lockdown, indicating a lasting trend as people move from city life to homes in the city. more spacious luxury outside the big cities. With wine sales exploding this year and our assisted kits making our eponymous product more affordable, Spiral Cellars offers the ultimate solution for customers looking to house their growing wine selections in a stylish and elegant way.

A detailed installation manual provides instructions on how to dig and prepare the hole for the cellar, then, when ready, the cellar is supplied in a modular format ready to be installed by the construction crew.

For construction crews who think they would benefit from installation assistance, Spiral Cellars has also introduced an “Assisted KIT” installation option.

The Assisted KIT offers customers the on-site presence of a Spiral Cellars installation manager to help them undertake, support and advise on the more complicated aspects of the installation. A cellar purchased in ‘KIT Assisted’ benefits from a full cellar guarantee.

Spiral Cellars saw a huge increase in inquiries during the Covid-19 period, with a 130% increase in traffic to its website during the lockdown. Demand for cellars and cellars has doubled compared to the same period last year.

Spiral Cellars believe this is due to several reasons:

  • The lockdown exposed the limitations of not having a home wine cellar.
  • Likewise, he highlighted the key benefit of a home cellar – the luxury and convenience of having your entire wine collection at home to choose from on a whim.
  • Eliminating daily trips gave potential customers more time. Some use this time to research and undertake projects, such as creating a home cellar, that they always wanted but didn’t have time for before.

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The best luxury wine gifts 2020

When it comes to shopping for gifts, finding the right gift can be a daunting task, especially for someone who “has it all”. It’s always easier when you have a good idea of ​​their passions and hobbies – including wine – because it’s much easier to shop more efficiently.

With that in mind, if you know someone who is passionate about their wine and considers themselves to be a connoisseur, then we’re sure the following gifts will be a great fit. Alternatively, if you’re just looking to treat yourself to some new wine accessories and gadgets, you’ve come to the right place.

While you’re at it, why not browse our luxury wine guide to try out this International Wine Day?

Arguably the best wine innovation in decades, Coravin allows wine lovers to taste it by the glass without compromising the entire bottle. This means that wines that you have kept in the cellar for years can be tasted and enjoyed, but also savored for years to come.

Coravin gives wine lovers the opportunity to test if their cellar wines are at their full potential and takes the pressure off of having to consume one bottle at a time. The needles work on all cork bottles and removable screw caps, so you can keep the bottles uncapped and enjoy it by Coravin.

£ 329 at

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If sabrage isn’t already one of their party tricks, now is the time to give them the weapons to learn. Who wouldn’t be impressed by someone opening a bottle of champagne with a saber? This one in all its glory deserves a special place in any wine cellar.

119 £ from

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The impossible wine collection by Assouline

Travel through America’s best wineries in this visually stunning and informative book, which covers United States wine history and trends while sharing an overview of the most collectable wines. It comes in a wooden box and makes a wonderful gift for any wine lover.

£ 775 at Farfetch

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Connoisseur Box L’Atelier du Vin Oeno

This gorgeous Connoisseur set has everything everyone needs to get by, beautifully packaged in a box featuring famous wine regions of the world. Complement different style bottle openers, bottle caps and a bottle thermometer, it even has an apron to make sure the owner is looking at the room.

The case includes:

  • Bilame Anniversary corkscrew
  • Boy Bottle Opener
  • Sheet cutter
  • Oeno Motion Lever corkscrew
  • Thermometer
  • Cork opener
  • Universal Developer
  • On / Off Gard’vin vigneron
  • Bubble cork
  • Cork
  • Apron

$ 595 on

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Every winemaker should have a wine decanter and sometimes the flashier the better. This Riedel Crystal Horn Decanter is a decanter that would look fantastic even when empty on a shelf, or center stage in the middle of your dining table when entertaining.

€ 533 at Harrods

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>> Read our guide to the best white wine glasses

Lorenzi Milano Travel Wine Box

Wine time, anytime! This luxury travel set is the fanciest picnic companion that lets you enjoy great wine on the go, keep it tidy and well presented at the same time. Crafted from fine brown leather and with plenty of straps to ensure a secure fit, we’re sure this luxury gift will impress any wine expert.

$ 2,315 on

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Pulling the cork on some bottles is a tough task with a big payoff (mostly). This device from Cuisinart gives your muscles a little rest and ensures a clean and orderly removal of the cap with the film cutter. With the push of a button, the caps will be removed by the wireless device and you can reseal the bottles with the included vacuum sealer.

€ 44 at Harrods

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Sometimes it is the whimsical gifts that fall best. This champagne cork stool is very trendy with wine lovers and will fit perfectly into any wine cellar or tasting station. It’s about building your brand and being on the brand and if so, it will be a great conversation starter.

£ 142.50 at Amazon

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Aveine smart wine aerator

Over-aerating your wine can sometimes compromise flavor, but the Aveine aerator takes the guesswork out of it for you. Download the easy to use app with which you scan the bottle label and ask it to calculate how much it needs to be aerated. You then adjust the delay on the aeration device and pour!

£ 340 at Amazon

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Pernod Ricard sells wine brands and assets for $ 88 million to Lion Nathan

The Lindauer sparkling wine brand is one of the twelve brands of wine sold by Pernod Ricard to Lion Nathan. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Pernod Ricard New Zealand, the local arm of the French liquor company, has sold a dozen wine brands and a few wineries to a joint venture led by Lion Nathan New Zealand for $ 88 million.

Lion Nathan will purchase a dozen new brands of wine, including Lindauer, Corbans and Saints, while his partner Indevin, an independent winemaker, will own Gisborne Winery, select vineyards in the Gisborne region and Twin River Vineyard in Hawke’s . The Bay.

The sale is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval after the Japanese beverage maker Kirin Holdings took over Lion Nathan for AU $ 3.4 billion last year.

“We remain very committed to New Zealand, our people and the long-term development of our wine and spirits portfolio,” said Fabian Partigliani, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard NZ, in a statement.

Pernod Ricard NZ, which produces luxury alcohol brands including Absolut Vodka and Chivas Regal whiskey, will retain ownership of the local brands Brancott Estate, Church Road, Deutz and Stoneleigh, while divesting low-cost brands like Aquila, Bernadino and Thistle as part of the Lion accord.

The sale aims to streamline production of the French company’s brand portfolio, the statement said.

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Ackley Beverage Group launches Landlines Estates, a new luxury wine brand

“When we discovered Tidalstar Vineyard in 2016, we knew that its ideal terroir combined with the highest standards of sustainable agriculture would produce exceptional and unique wines from the Willamette Valley,” said Rudy Marchesi, head winemaker of fixed estates and president of Demeter United States. “This first version of Landlines is a superb expression of what this very special vineyard has to offer.”

Ackley Beverage Group has assembled a team of expert wine growers, growers and winemakers to show the full range of what this unique micro-site can produce. The thoughtful collaboration of wine producers offers decades of experience in biodynamic and organic viticulture and artful winemaking.

The inaugural version of Landlines Estates is from the 2017 vintage and will be available for the first time in December of this year. Each of the four wines reflects various expressions of the vineyard and is produced in extremely limited quantities. With the purchase of 12 bottles, three of each wine, individuals will join the Landlines Estates Founders Club and be guaranteed future vintages and other benefits. Due to the limited quantities produced, this initial allocation will be on a first come, first served basis.

The launch of Landlines Estates adds to Ackley Beverage Group’s growing portfolio of wine brands. With professional and financial capital, they helped Montinore Estate build their national awareness and last year purchased 177 acres in YamhillCarlton to build a new state-of-the-art production facility, a 100-acre vineyard and several tasting rooms. The investment group is actively seeking acquisition opportunities to develop its wine partners in Washington and Oregon.

About Ackley Beverage Group
Ackley Beverage Group, a SeattleA family-owned investment company dedicated to supporting premium wine brands throughout the Northwest, providing financial and professional resources to partners in the wine industry. They are committed to ensuring the continuity and management of a wine estate’s unique heritage, while providing the necessary resources to partners so that they realize their greatest potential. In addition to capital, the company provides professional support in management, operations, sales and marketing. To learn more, visit

About landline domains
Landlines Estates makes small, separate batches of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from Tidalstar Vineyard in YamhillCarlton. A small team of winegrowers, winegrowers and winegrowers was brought together to show the full range of expression of this very particular vineyard. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Ackley Beverage Group

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