Brits warned that 40 million bottles of wine may be fake

It is feared the counterfeit wine has been sold across Europe over the last four years

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Public warned about fake wine

Brit drinkers are being warned over claims up to 40 million bottles of French wine may be fake.

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The country's biggest bulk merchant is under investigation following allegations cheap red has been passed off as quality Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape in a multimillion-pound fraud.

It is feared up to 40 million bottles of counterfeit wine, costing from £20 up to £100 a bottle, are for sale or have been sold across Europe, between 2013 and the present.

Credits: Getty

It is feared the counterfeit wine has been sold across Europe over the last four years

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The scam is said to date back to 2013, but only came to light last year after French customs officials found discrepancies in a routine audit.

The probe is centred on wine giant Raphael Michel – based in Piolenc in Provence. Boss Guillaume Ryckwaert, 39, has been arrested and faces fraud charges.

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The supposed scam only came to light last year

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He took over the business in 2003 and has been the driving force behind booming sales, which have increased by up to 30% a year.

Nicholas Corke, of fine wine store Thos Peatling, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, said: "There is every chance some of this wine has come across the Channel... It is simply cheap wine being passed off as expensive wine.

"The fake wine might very well be drinkable – but it is not what people expect if they are paying £20 a bottle."

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud


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