Bordeaux winemakers downplay impact of rise in fakes

BORDEAUX, France, Nov 1, 2006 (AFP) – Winemakers in France’s prime Bordeaux wine region have shrugged off warnings by experts over a rise in counterfeiting of top wines potentially worth millions of euros (dollars). While most top chateaux in Bordeaux, in France’s southwest, have introduced measures to protect their wines against the fakes, they insist the growing trend is not their problem.

“Yes, there are some fakes of very old bottles from the last century,” said Francis Mayeur, director of Chateau d’Yquem, a first growth Bordeaux wine that has been targeted by counterfeiters.

“But fakes do not concern the chateau, they concern exchanges between collectors,” he said, highlighting that the faking occurrs after the wine has been sold by the chateaux.

Fakes are “not our problem,” said Christophe Salin, director of Chateau Lafite, another top-of-the-range first growth Bordeaux, who also said he had never seen a fake Lafite.

However, he went on to add that once in Mexico, he had seen something so bad “it was funny”.

Haut Brion director Jean Philippe Delmas is a little more open. He said he knew of “a few” faked Haut Brions.

“People come to us with something to identify and if it is a fake we des