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Counterfeit Protection for the Wine Industry

Napa Valley Vintners and Wines & Vines magazine co-hosting half-day seminar Aug. 14

by Wines & Vines staff
wine anti-counterfeiting seminar
The Wine Anti-Counterfeiting Seminar will take place Aug. 14 at Silverado Resort.
St. Helena, Calif.—The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association, in partnership with Wines & Vines, is hosting a Wine Anti-Counterfeiting Seminar on Aug. 14 to help winemakers and wine marketers understand the potential for wine counterfeiting and learn about available technology to protect against this threat. The seminar is open to NVV members and non-members.

According to our cover story about intellectual property challenges in China in the August issue of Wines & Vines, counterfeit California wines in this growing market are less common than fake French wines. However, as regions like Napa Valley continue to actively promote premium wines in Asia, the risk increases. Although Napa Valley was the first wine region in the world to achieve geographic indication status from the Chinese government last fall, the designation does not provide counterfeit protection for individual wine brands.

“The NVV takes the topic of name and brand protection seriously,” said Emma Swain, CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery and a member of the NVV Board of Directors. “This anti-counterfeit seminar is a natural extension of work our organization been doing for many years to protect the Napa Valley name, and it dovetails nicely on a member-education program we hosted in April on the topic of trademark protection in China. It is important for the NVV as an industry leader to ensure our members are working to actively protect their individual brands.”

NVV member Mike Lamborn, owner of Lamborn Family Wine Co., plans to attend the seminar and hopes it will help him become familiar with available options to prevent the counterfeit of his small brand. “As a small producer, can we afford to take advantage of the technologies to prevent counterfeiting of our wine? Can we not afford it? We think it is important to be aware of what’s available in this area,” said Lamborn, who is currently exporting to several Asian markets.

The seminar includes a panel discussion with experts on intellectual property rights, international commerce protocols, wine appraisals and auctions, and vintners who have experience exporting to Asia. Suppliers of cutting-edge technologies for wine packaging that help to authenticate, track and promote wines will participate in a second panel discussion and a small trade show.

The Wine Anti-Counterfeiting Seminar program runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Silverado Resort in Napa and includes continental breakfast and lunch. The cost is $50 per person. For more information and to register, email

Scheduled speakers and suppliers:
• Scott Gerien, attorney for Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, will speak about intellectual property issues for luxury wine.

• David Pearson, president of Opus One, will share his company’s experiences with close calls with counterfeits in export markets.

• Maureen Downey, owner of Chai Consulting of San Francisco, will bring her expertise about wine auctions and appraisals.

• David Gooder, president of the International Federation of Spirits Producers, will report on anti-counterfeiting lessons learned by the spirits industry.

The technology suppliers panel will feature: Philippe Mathevon of Advanced Track & Trace, Erik Harvey of iProof, California state Rep. Curt Hagman of WineGenuine and Gilles Besoin of ProofTag.

Other supplier companies involved in the trade show are: Amcor Flexibles, eProvenance, Holoptica, Inside Secure, Lafitte Cork & Capsule and Saverglass.

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