An Indonesian con man is responsible for at least 10 of the fake bottles of wine opened in Singapore every day, says Laurent Ponsot, whose family owns Domaine Ponsot vineyards n Burgundy since 1981.
The Indonesian fake maker, Rudy Kuriawan, is a wine forger who was convicted for defrauding wine buyers of an estimated US$30 million (S$41.9 million).
Ponsot was instrumental in gathering the evidence and testifying against the fakes kingpin, earning him the title “Sherlock Holmes of the wine world”.
“When I was investigating, I was incognito and I found a lot (of Kurniawan’s fakes). I know they exist. I found more in Hong Kong than in Singapore,” he added.
Ponsot first discovered that there was going to be 107 fake bottles of Domaine Ponsot sold at a New York auction with an estimated value of between US$700,000 to US$1.3 million. He then embarked on a hunt for where the bottles came from and found Rudy Kurniawan. His investigations into Kurniawan are documented in teh Netflix documentary, Sour Grapes.
From making all kinds of fakes, including wine, Kurniawan’s earnings were estimated at some US$36 million per year, over a period of 10 years.