A wine shop in Liuzhou in China’s southwestern Guangxi province is found to have sold fake Penfolds Grange and Penfolds Bin 707 that have caused health hazards to drinkers, local police has reported.
The shop was uncovered following a report by a customer surnamed Zhang who had purchased four bottles of Penfolds Bin 707 and two bottles of Penfolds Grange last month for a total of RMB 10,800 (US$1,530), much cheaper than market price, local Chinese TV station reported.
A bottle of Grange in China usually sells for around RMB 6,000 (US$850), while Zhang bought his for RMB 2,600, convinced by the seller as being “wholesale price”.
The wines were intended as gifts to a friend but were later rejected by the friend who raised suspicion on the wines’ authenticity following bouts of headache and diarrhea after consumption, Zhang told the police.
Zhang later tried the wine himself and reported the same symptoms.
According to local media reports, Zhang reported the case to Penfolds, which later confirmed that the wines in question are indeed counterfeit after assessment.
A police raid at the shop in Liuzhou has found that the shop still has stocks of fake Penfolds from lower end Max series to the premium Grange.
Searches at its warehouse not only led to cases of fake Penfolds but also counterfeit stickers that were supposed to come with authentic Penfolds bottles.
According to the shop’s owner the stickers were given to them by her distributors in Nanning and Guangzhou, who she claimed had sold her the same cases of fake Penfolds.
Police believes the shop sells about 1 million bottles of Penfolds a year, of which half is estimated to be fake.
The value of the confiscated fake Penfolds at the shop is believed to be around RMB 200,000 (USD28,265).
Penfolds is among one of the most known imported wine brands in China, which means unfortunately it’s among the most faked imported wines.
The popularity of its wines has spurred fraudsters to churn out fake bottles for higher profits.
In 2018, police in Zhengzhou city in central Henan province busted 50,000 bottles of fake Penfolds worth over US$2.8 million – the biggest haul of counterfeit Penfolds.
The Liuzhou investigation is still ongoing.