Above: Yesterday, the Valpolicella Consortium took the unusual step of posting a Facebook note that addressed an unfolding wine adulteration scandal in the appellation (image via the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella Facebook).
The following statement was posted yesterday by the Valpolicella Consortium on its Facebook (in Italian and English). It addresses the recent seizure of 80 metric tonnes of unauthorized grapes in the appellation by the NAS (the Nuclei Antisofisticazione e Sanità, the Anti-Adulteration and Health Protection Services of the Carabinieri, the Italian government national police force).
In an unusual step for an Italian grape grower and winemaker association, the consortium is evidently attempting to “get ahead of the story.”
Following the seizure of red grapes by the Food department of the Padua police service, Christian Marchesini, President of the Consorzio Valpolicella, declares the move as “supporting the Consortium’s policy of quality.”
San Pietro in Cariano, November 23, 2013 — Following the news that the Food department of the Padua police service [editor's note: NAS] seized 80 tonnes of red grapes purchased from wineries outside the Valpolicella today, the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella clarifies that the winery accused of such fraud is not a member of the consortium nor is it part of the training and information on quality control in that the consortium carries out for its members. The grapes seized in Tregnago (part of the Valpolicella DOC area) were scheduled to be used in the production of Valpolicella appellation wines without fulfilling the prerequisites stated under the production regulations (i.e., to be grown in the Valpolicella DOC area). The consortium was aware that the winery involved was under surveillance by the controlling body Siquria SPA.
“Interventions like today’s carried out by the NAS (Food department of the Police service) based on information provided by our control agency Siquria SPA,” said President of the Consorzio Valpolicella Christian Marchesini, “are necessary and in line with the Consortium’s policy of consumer protection and control of members. Paradoxically, many of the problems linked to falsification in the Valpolicella appellation are created by the quality and the excellence that can be found in this area that pushes those who don’t have the right, to create wines illegally. Never has it been so apparent that the activity of controls in the vineyards and the fruit drying lofts carried out by the controlling body is indispensable and supports the Consortium’s role and efforts to promote and protect the appellations.”
Special thanks to Alfonso Cevola who brought the Facebook post to my attention. Check out Alfonso’s excellent post and reporting of the JFK commemoration Friday in Dallas, Texas.