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Cape winemakers go hi-tech

Cape winemakers want to make sure that their wines don't get pirated like movies, music and designer clothes.
Cape winemakers go hi-techThe Cape Wine Guild is launching a hi-tech holographic label for its wine bottles to prevent counterfeiting, according to guild treasurer David Finlayson.

The new measure was a pre-emptive strike to protect the industry, he said.

"We've heard of cases of wine fraud in Johannesburg and internationally. There are not many control measures," he said.

Wendy Dias, product manager at Synchron Branding and Marketing, which designed the new labels, said they incorporate security features similar to those of euro banknotes - identifying markers such as colour changes and movements, image reversals and hidden handwriting.

About 53 wines at next month's Cape Wine Guild auction will carry the new label.

There have been several incidents overseas of top wines being counterfeited.

Last week Italian police foiled a plot to flood the market with nearly 500000 counterfeit bottles of the prized Tuscan red wine Brunello di Montalcino.

In August, US wine collector Rudy Kurniawan, 37, was jailed for 10 years for counterfeiting and selling as rare vintages wines worth more than R20-million.

Michael Fridjhon, a visiting professor of wine business at the University of Cape Town, said he was aware of one incident in South Africa.

Three years ago counterfeiters reportedly removed the labels of cheap wines and replaced them with those of the pricey Kanonkop.

Source: The Times via I-Net Bridge


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