Rudy Kurniawan May Be Free, but Future for Fake Wine is in Shackles

What does Cellr, a world-first anti-counterfeit solution for wine, have to say about Rudy Kurniawan, the world’s most high profile wine-fraudster, being released from prison this Saturday? If only we could time travel, because Cellr would have stopped him before he even got started.

What sent Rudy to the slammer

Rudy made a name for himself in the global wine industry, for all the wrong reasons. He is the man behind what is likely the wine industry’s most publicized case of wine-fraud, so much so it even had a movie made about it- Sour Grapes. You can find out more about Rudy’s case here (via the Drinks Business).

Long story short, Rudy made millions by recreating and refilling highly coveted bottles of wine with new and old blends, and then selling them through auction houses. Lucky for today’s wineries, investors, consumers and auction houses a solution like Cellr’s capsule technology would make this impossible to achieve.

However in the absence of this technology, the fake wines Rudy passed off to buyers as the real deal are STILL being circulated and RESOLD… over and over.

The days of wine fraud are coming to an end

When it comes to Cellr’s authentication tech, you don’t need a block chain tech-wiz or an expert with a keen eye to ensure your wine is legitimate. Cellr’s authentication process gives winemakers and consumers the ability to do it with a touch of their mobile phones. Sounds too good to be true, right? 

On the consumer end they simply tap their phone on the Cellr capsule and a notification will pop up that will tell them the provenance of the wine and whether it has been opened. A complete and independent authentication process that takes seconds.

On the producer end, through the Cellr portal they will be notified whenever a Cellr capsule on their wine has been tapped, up until it eventually has been opened.

What would this mean for our (not) friend Rudy, and wine fraudsters of any type- from recreators, refillors to unicorn bottlers? Game over. People on the consumer end would know there is something fishy going on from the get go.

Without getting too deep into the details, how the solution works is that each Cellr capsule combines NFC and RFID technology into a tamper proof lid that can detect any meddling with the bottle- down to a pin prick. Basically, when a bottle is opened, or the capsule has been tampered with, the RFID chip picks this up and basically registers this bottle as dead, for lack of a better term. This means when the bottle’s Cellr capsule is next tapped by a mobile phone it will let the consumer and producer know that it is dead via NFC. Dead meaning, previously opened or tampered with. Sorry Rudy/Dr Conti wannabes. 

The beauty of the technology is that it is unhackable, non-cosmetic, affordable and fits straight into existing bottling lines- making it a no-brainer for the industry to implement.

Fraud doesn’t just hurt a wine brand’s reputation and rip people off- in many cases it can be dangerous. Especially when foreign liquids are used to refill bottles, as Rudy did.

That’s why we made Cellr, to combat wine fraud and protect wine brands, the wine industry and consumers. The other awesome features, like Cellr’s ability to enable marketing campaigns that directly engage with a customer’s phone and track and trace each bottle around the world is just an added bonus. A gift, if you like. 

Because unlike Rudy and the thousands of other fraudsters currently making it big at the expense of the wine industry, Cellr is for the wine industry.

Visit the Cellr website or reach out to us at to find out more about what our amazing winetech can do for the world of wine..

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