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Prooftag: fraud-proof seal to combat fake wine

Tamper proof, ‘uncopiable’ security seals are being introduced by wine producers in France, America and Canada.

Increasing concern about fake wines and product traceability has led producers to find more and more sophisticated ways of proving wines’ legitimacy.

The seal, called Prooftag, is already in use by one producer in Bordeaux, who prefers to remain anonymous, two in Burgundy and one in Canada.

Blankiet Estates in the Napa Valley has also just signed a contract with Prooftag to use the seal on 50,000 bottles of their 2005 vintage.

Another Bordeaux chateau, Canon-La-Gaffelière in St Emilion, is considering using the seal, but the issue at the moment is price, owner Count Stephan von Neipperg said.

‘The price needs to come down,’ he said. ‘The more people use them though, the cheaper it will become.’

Prooftag costs between €0.20-€1 per bottle, depending on the quantity ordered.

The seal is a strip about 1cm wide and 5cms long which runs from the metal capsule onto the glass bottle. Breaking the seal destroys the capsule, ensuring it cannot be used again.

The seal carries both a reference number and a transparent plastic square of gel which has a unique bubble pattern. Consumers can compare the number and bubble pattern on their bottle with a picture of the original on the web to ensure they have the real thing.

Earlier today (13th September) the product was awarded a silver medal for innovation by Sitevi, the wine equipment trade fair, which will be held in Montpellier at the end of November.

Written by Sophie Kevany

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