From The Shanghai Daily:
A BOTTLE of Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold in a Chinese restaurant for 50,000 yuan (US$7,862) recently could well have been fake wine made in China costing no more than 30 yuan.
Liu Zhihui, vice chairman of the realty subcommittee of Asia-Pacific Urban Development Association, claimed on his microblog that he was told an agent was producing counterfeit Lafite wine in a secret wine factory on a cargo ship through blending low quality French wine in fake Lafite bottles and selling it to various outlets in China.
The faking of Lafite wine has been known in the industry for some time.
“I estimate that 70 percent of the so-called Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold in China’s mainland is fake since the sales volume greatly outstrips the import volume,” said wine expert Frankie Zhao, who has worked in Chinese wine industry for more than 10 years.
According to the Lafite website, the vineyard’s annual wine production is around 20,000 cases.
China’s annual quota of Lafite wine from France is no more than 50,000 bottles, according to a market insider.
However, the annual Lafite consumption of one five-star hotel in Dongguan in south Guangdong Province is 40,000 bottles, according to a CCTV report earlier this year.
Zhejiang Province in east China is said to be consuming 300,000 bottles of Lafite a year…
“Counterfeiters blend the real Lafite wine they imported from France with other middle-range French wine and pour them into original Lafite bottles recycled from restaurant trash at a price of 2,000 to 3,000 yuan each. Those bottles are now in short supply,” Yang said.
Next time you get the urge to splurge on Lafite in China, think of what might go into wine blended on a Chinese cargo ship.