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Snooth User: Philip James

Fighting fakes

Posted by Philip James, Apr 4, 2007.

Ten days after the CSI episode on wine fraud and its back in the news. This time its an article on what wineries are doing to combat fraud.

Colgin Cellars, a 'cult' California winery, whose wines go for several hundred dollars a bottle, has for years been selling their entire production to members of their mailing list. The mailing list (2,300 places) itself has a 3,000 member long waiting list! Of course, with under-supply like this the demand in the secondary market is huge. And thats where the problem starts.

Colgin has always been ahead of the curve - the winery has been printing on banknote paper since 1990. They use tamper proof wax seals and have started to number individual bottles. To step things up a notch, they announced last week that they were going to start using Kodak's Traceless system.

Originally designed for the drug industry, Traceless involves invisible inks which are only visible using a proprietary Kodak reader. Sounds fantastic if you have access to a reader. I could imagine restaurants or auction houses using these. It doesnt help private traders though.

For wines that come from wineries that don't use such technologies, there are independant services like VerifyWine that will register and insure your bottle before you sell it.

Replies

Blog comment by gr, Apr 27, 2007.

Your original post on this skimmed past an important point: nobody actually drinking it noticed. If it doesn't taste different enough for reviewers to tell... does it matter?

If it just gradually isn't as good, as they mix more and more crap in to sell for more, won't their price just go down anyway?

Why yes, I *am* a registered Libertarian...

Blog comment by Snooth Blog Fighting counterfeits, Sep 14, 2007.

[...] on the trail here, after talking about this here and here. Prooftag has now launched with tamper proof, uncopiable, seals. Already in use by 4 [...]


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