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Top Burgundy Winemakers Will Testify Against Alleged Counterfeiter

May 9, 2013

Federal prosecutors have begun to show their hand in the upcoming prosecution of alleged wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, Wine Spectator reports. On May 6, federal judge Richard Berman granted U.S. attorneys permission to present videotaped testimony from three of Burgundy’s top winemakers: Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Christophe Roumier of Domaine Georges Roumier and Laurent Ponsot of Domaine Ponsot. The three men are expected to testify on allegedly fake bottles sold by Kurniawan.

Lead prosecutor Jason Hernandez had hoped to bring all three winemakers to New York to testify in person. But since the trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 9 in a Lower Manhattan courtroom, coincides with the start of harvest, Roumier and Ponsot are unwilling to interrupt their work by traveling to New York. De Villaine has not yet indicated whether he will appear at trial or also be deposed by videotape. The depositions, for which Kurniawan and his lawyers will be present, are to be taken in the United States.

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