Food fraud on a global scale worth 200 million euros, with 2,000 online vendors passing off fake Chianti for the genuine article. Some 39 different brands of Wine Kit have been identified, which equates to nothing more than a chemical powder used to make wine at home. The labels lure you in by using the words Made in Italy and Chianti, but they could be no any further from the actual product protected by EU legislation. Thanks to new technology from Griffeshield, a company specialising in new information technology for medium and large international companies, in the six months leading up to mid-January this year, the Chianti Wine Consortium detected as many as 56,075 infringements.

This protection and safeguarding activity has been possible thanks to careful web monitoring, using the specialist IT tools available, which detected all the illegal uses of the Chianti brand, removing as much as 78%. Specifically, the infringements concerned the unauthorised use of the Chianti brand, the sale of counterfeit Chianti wines and the sale of counterfeit Chianti labels.

The main European wine kit market is the United Kingdom through online stores such as Creative Wine Making Brew and portals such as EBay and Amazon. Globally, the United States comes out top with online wine stores offering a wide selection of wines such as Italian Chianti style, Original Chianti, Vintners Reserve Chianti and World Vineyard Italian Chianti, just to name a few. Even online e-commerce portals USA and large retailers like Walmart sell a wide range of wine kits. Russia, China, Canada and Australia follow close behind.

“A huge effort – says the President of the Chianti Wine Consortium, Giovanni Busi – which has enabled us to eliminate the overwhelming majority of infringements and fraud cases that damage the Chianti brand on the world stage. Damage that we are attempting to limit and, in actual fact, these infringements are already falling sharply. Our efforts are aimed at increasing pressure and, therefore, the likelihood of law suits, as well as educating online sellers to respect the Chianti brand and, above all, the rights of the producers of genuine Chianti wine. In order to prevent this type of fraud, we have taken the decision to alter our regulations and only allow Chianti to be bottled in Tuscany. This is a first step to ensure greater controls and to protect our name.”