A boom in counterfeit ice wines sold in parts of Asia is threatening legitimate Canadian exports of the sweet desert wine to one of its biggest export markets, according to worried vintners and trade officials. \n"Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but people are making ice wine in their garage and selling it in China. It's ridiculous," complained Charles Pillitteri, owner of Pillitteri Estates Winery. \nPillitteri's winery is one of Canada's largest estate producers of ice wine and the hardest hit by forgeries because almost 75 percent of his product is exported to Asia. \nIce wine is made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine and picked when temperatures fall below -8?C, usually in late December. \nCanada, Austria and Germany are the largest producers worldwide of the novel desert wine which typically sells for between C$50 and C$150 Canadian (US$37 to US$112) for a slim 375 milliliter bottle. \nConcern is mounting after Canadian officials found forged ice wines on the shelves of major retail stores in Taiwan and China nestling alongside bottles of real ice wine. \nThe bogus bottles had labels copied from bona fide products and were priced under US$15. They were made with grape juice and sugar or grapes frozen after being picked from the vine. \nSome had dyes in them. Some were not even wines at all. \n"It's consumer deception," said Bill Ross, president of the Canadian Vintners Association. \n"You have counterfeit ice wine bottles with `Chilliwacko, Ontario' instead of Chilliwack, British Columbia, or `Elixir of the Gods, Torontow' with a picture of Whistler -- a ski resort more than 5,000km from Toronto -- in the background and maple leafs festooned all over," Ross explained. \nThe scam is seriously hurting sales of actual ice wines in Canada's biggest export market, damaging the reputation of all Canadian wines as well as increasing marketing and advertising costs to educate consumers about the sham, he said. \nCanadian ice wine production peaked last year at nearly 2.5 million bottles and officials estimate almost 80 percent will be exported. \n"It's a significant product in the Canadian wine industry and the one that resonates the most with international buyers. If you get buyers overseas who unwittingly drink fake ice wine and they don't like it, they may not buy it again and it hurts our reputation," Ross said. \n"It's not like buying a fake Rolex watch on a street corner. People buy fake Gucci sunglasses in Bangkok knowing they're fake, but ice wine fakes are poor quality products that are attempting to represent the real thing," said Jim Stewart, owner of Vancouver's Paradise Ranch Wines. \nSummerhill Estate Winery in British Columbia is just starting to export ice wine to Asia, but is already competing with knockoffs that mimicked their label. \n"One fake had an inch of sludge at the bottom. I didn't even want to taste it. A fake Prada bag or watch won't hurt anybody, but when you have a food product counterfeited, there are no controls, you don't know what people are doing to the wine," said Summerhill's Alan Marks. \nThe Canadian government has pressed Asian officials to crack down on fakes and is helping the industry open up new markets to offset declines in Asia, but this takes time, and developing a new market for a niche product that most people have never heard of is costly. \nVintners are pushing for stricter labelling laws that recognize the ice wine definition set out by Canada, Austria and Germany in May 2000. \nThe US and the EU adopted similar definitions last year and the World Wine Trade Group is now negotiating a labelling agreement between member countries that will recognize the ice wine's true definition.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South