Such incidents go back to antiquity. In this context, attempts are made to "improve" quality by means of unauthorised additives or by manipulation such as fraudulent labelling or blending with wines of inferior quality in an attempt to circumvent wine legislation. The most spectacular or extensive wine counterfeits of modern times are described below:
In the 1960s, the holiday destination Italy, which was very fashionable at the time, made Italian wines popular, especially in Germany, and millions of hectolitres were introduced. Among them were cheap products of alleged brands such as Chianti (in the kitschy, raffia-wrapped wicker bottles), Lambrusco and Valpolicella, which had never seen the respective growing regions. Many were enriched with sugar and water, embellished with cow's blood and the plant mucilage Agar Aagar (from algae), and the fiery shine was created by adding plaster. More than 200 wine forgers were reported, some of whom had used river water and the decoction of rotten figs or bananas to sweeten the wine. The wine law introduced in 1963 with the DOC system had obviously not yet taken effect.