An invisible ‘tracer’ mixed with paint, plastics or ink and applied to wine bottle closures, corks or labels enabling retailers and consumers to check the bottles for authenticity is the latest high-technology product developed to counter the growing trend of counterfeit wine. Combined with YPB’s customer ‘connect’ technology, this solution is designed to ‘protect’ and ‘detect’ and importantly connect brands with customers.

The solution suite, manufactured and distributed by Australian anti-counterfeit and product authentication company YPB Group Ltd, was displayed at the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and Trade Exhibition, held in Adelaide.

Counterfeit wine is a significant and growing issue, especially in China. Recent reports show that China is now on par with the USA in terms of wine exports (by value) for Australia and increased by 71 percent in 2015.

Independent wine commentator Jeremy Oliver estimates up to 50 percent of wine costing $35+ per bottle sold in China is fake, either with a fake label, a refilled bottle or a copycat brand.

“Early counterfeit was easy to spot in China, because the labels were inferior, the English on the labels was unusual, and event he bottle shapes were often incorrect,” said Oliver. “But lately wine counterfeiters have become more professional. They are putting fake wine labels on clear skin bottles, or refilling empty bottles with inferior wine, often from countries like Chile and Argentina, and then recorking and recapping them.

YPB’s anti-counterfeit technology has also been adopted by governments and is currently in 18 million e-passports worldwide.