The popular Australian wine brand Yellow Tail is embroiled in a counterfeit scandal that appears to be tied to an organized crime ring. Fake bottles of the brand’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and Shiraz wines have been found on shelves in the U.K., according to The Mirror.
Following a slew of customer complaints made at a KVK Supermarket in England, trading standards officers launched an investigation and found evidence that Yellow Tail labels are being expertly forged and placed onto bottles not affiliated with the company. Officers seized a total of 41 bottles, which were later confirmed to be fake by parent company Casella Family Brands. Similar bottles were seized in other areas of the UK.
While the KVK Supermarket has lost its liquor license, the lucrative U.K. wine market may suffer more severe consequences. A local trading standards spokesperson told The Mirror that the “large-scale [counterfeit] operation,” which likely originated abroad, may have the power to do lasting damage to genuine brands.
Crikey, talk about trust issues.