A counterfeit wine ring is spilling through Italy.
More than a dozen involved in the vino scheme, which has been dubbed "Bad Tuscan" by authorities, are under investigation by Italian police for allegedly knocking off bottles of the high-end red wine known as Bolgheri Sassicaia by Tenuta San Guido.
The coveted "super Tuscan" Bordeaux-style red wine, produced in Tuscany, can fetch up to around $420 per bottle. The counterfeit wine, meanwhile, is produced in Sicily, with the bottles imported from Turkey, and the fake labels — bearing the well-known registered trademark “DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia” — came from Bulgaria, along with the wooden cases, investigators said.
Italian authorities confiscated 700 cases of wine, or 4,200 bottles, during the investigation. Of those, vintages from 2010 and 2015 were the most counterfeited.
Investigators said several customers from Russia, China and Korea already placed orders for thousands of cases.
Two people involved in the Bad Tuscan scheme have since been arrested.
Authorities say they were initially tipped off to the counterfeit ring when Italy's financial police found a case of the fake wine on a street in Tuscany, a chief prosecutor in Florence said during a press conference, as reported by the Guardian.