Bordeaux police have raided a dozen producers as part of a fraud investigation involving hundreds of thousands of hectolitres of wine.

The raid came on Valentine’s Day – 14 February last week – when some hundred officers of the Police Judiciaire in Bordeaux, officers of the fraud squad (Direction de la Concurrence et des Fraudes), and customs officers, searched about 12 châteaux and wine estates in the Libourne and Blaye areas.

At the same time officers with search warrants raided wine warehouses in both Bordeaux and the Charentes area, and seized documents.

The warehouse and properties under scrutiny are owned by Belgian négociant, Rocher Cap de Rive, according to local sources.

The Police will not reveal the nature or state of their enquiries but it’s understood they are looking into the origin and quality of certain wines being sold under the Bordeaux, Montagne-Saint-Emilion and Côtes-de-Bourg appellations.

The volume of wine involved is as much as 700,000 hectolitres, the majority destined for export to Belgium and Holland.

Written by Alan Spencer in Bordeaux