The Wine and Alcoholic Beverages Directorate of the National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO) is taking all necessary action to ensure that the wine in the glasses of Hungarian consumers is of suitable quality and traceable origin.

In recent years, the authority has continuously monitored every shipment of imported Italian wine. Although quality issues and sensory defects did arise, no fake products were found during the course of testing.

As soon as the first international news reports emerged, the NFCSO immediately began testing lots of imported wine originating from the Italian companies implicated in the counterfeit wine scandal and officially seized 50,000 bottles of wine. So far, no issues have arisen with relation to the composition of these products, only sensory defects have been noted.

The Ministry of Agriculture also immediately asked for an official report from the Italian wine quality authorities and from the laboratory that is performing the tests. At the resulting meeting, which took place on 5 August, Hungarian experts asked the members of the Italian expert delegation to guarantee that the Italian wine that has entered Hungary has been produced according to the relative regulations and is traceable. The Italian delegates asked the Hungarian authorities to officially submit their observations to the relative Italian Ministry. The lots of wine may not be sold in Hungary until the Italian authorities provide suitable guarantees with regard to their origin.

The quantity of bulk wine products entering Hungary has decreased significantly in recent years, thanks partly to stricter monitoring. In 2013, over 535,000 hectolitres of wine entered Hungary for processing and bottling, while in 2014 this volume was reduced to 300,000hl and to only 125,000hl during the first half of 2015. (In contrast, some 650,000hl of wine products are exported from Hungary every year.) No fake products were found during tests on Italian wines conducted within the past 3 years; only quality issues and sensory defects were identified.

The NFCSO will continue to take all necessary action to ensure that Hungarian consumers only have access to wines that are of suitable quality and traceable origin.

(Ministry of Agriculture)