Cheeky wine grower sold chateau DIY

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The Independent Online
A WINEMAKER struck by a failing crop turned to DIY wine kits to produce his special vintages, writes Andrew Buncombe.

Ted Jeffries also soaked the labels off bottles of cider, replacing them with "home produced" labels. Yesterday he was fined pounds 4,750 after admitting passing the wine off as his own.

Falmouth magistrates were told that Jeffries had bought the Porthallow vineyard - Britain's most southerly - on Cornwall's Lizard peninsula in the late 1980s. Due to problems production was slow and the vines did not start to produce grapes until 1995. But Jeffries still produced harvests of "estate bottled" wine, selling them to local hotels and tourists.

Last year Jefferies even opened a wine shop. It was at this point that an inspector from the Trading Standards Department spotted a bottle dated 1992 - the year the vines on the estate were cut back.

A visit to the estate discovered fermentation vats and empty wine-kit boxes. "The wine came in bottles with the label "estate grown and bottled table wine," said Roger Tredidga, for the prosecution. "In reality the wine, both red and white, was anything but estate produced and bottled."

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