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Adulteration scandal surfaces in Tuscany

Italian authorities suspect some 10m litres of Tuscan wine may have been blended illegally.

According to reports published yesterday by local Italian media, Italy’s treasury department and the Italian agriculture ministry are investigating quantities of current-release wine that may have been made using blending wines of inferior quality not allowed by appellation regulations.

These include wines from Chianti DOCG, Toscana IGT Brunello di Montalcino, and Rosso di Montalcino.

The Siena edition of the Italian national daily La Nazione and the Florentine edition of the Corriere della Sera reported yesterday that 17 people and 42 companies are currently under investigation for falsifying public documents with the intent to commit fraud.

While the investigation has focused primarily on Tuscany, producers in the regions of Abruzzo, Trentino, Piedmont, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna are also suspected of having played a role in the adulteration of Tuscan wines.

In May 2008 hundreds of thousands of bottles of top Brunello were impounded – and the sale of the 2003 vintage suspended – while an investigation was launched into the adding of non-permitted varieties to the wines.

That scandal involved many of the most renowned names in Tuscany, and a threatened US blockade of the 2003 Brunello vintage.

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Written by Jeremy Parzen and Franco Ziliani

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