Wine fraud investigated in Vaud

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2013 Paolo Basso celebrated with the family in 2013: 20 years since with the Kursner brothers took over from their father

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Kursner brothers in Féchy are reportedly the victims of a wine fraud in canton Vaud, where at least two grape growers and possibly four are under investigation for selling them illegal “moût” (must), the grape juice from which wine is made.

The wine producer being investigated has told local journalists that he was simply an intermediary and didn’t check the growers’ right to sell the unauthorized pressed grapes. Growers are subject to quotas that limit the size of Swiss harvests to combat a problem of over-production in recent years.

The Kursner brothers have one of the larger wineries in the region and they buy some of their grapes from other growers, notably for their blended wines.

The family winery is one of a relatively small number of Swiss cellars that export. RTS reported 5 February that the Jean-Claude Kursner bought what he believed to be nearly 10,000 litres of AOC wine from producers in Gilly/Tartegnin but a check in June 2013 by the cantonal chemist’s office, responsible for verifying wines, showed the must was not from AOC grapes.

The chemist who carried out the checks filed a report with the public prosecutor’s office, which is investigating.

The news came not long after the two brothers celebrated the 20th anniversary of taking over the family winery from their father. It also follows on the heels of another wine scandal, this one an ongoing legal investigation into Valais winery Giroud, a cellar that is being pursued by cantons Vaud and Valais, for tax fraud and for selling wine labeled St Saphorin, from the reputed Lavaux wine area, that may not have been a lesser wine.