Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

John Kapon seems appropriately portrayed.

I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.

I thought that either Don or Maureen indicated a belief that Rudy wasn’t working alone but my search skills are poor.

Rudy was making fakes for at least 10 years. I first caught him in early 2002. He was in full swing by 2004. He was arrested in 2012.

I didn’t take him anywhere near an hour to produce each bottle. Esp after he was getting his labels printed in Asia.

He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace
He was created by the creative writing & substantiation of his #1 vendor, important source of funding, and “best friend” John Kapon.
Kapon went on to get his other friends/clients of Acker to give Rudy “Loans” through Acker. (so weird!)
As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I’m learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle.

Once he got the liquid blend down & had the Kapon crew with Rosania & the punisher /hillbilly /rob the f*cknuckle or what ever the other idiots believing and swooning about his fake mags of 1950 Lafleur & 1945 Mouton (which were really variations of blends of 2002 Liberty Bay Cellers Merlot with some oxidized basic medoc mixed in and a splash of 2000/2006 Opus One or Duckhorn for brightness) his work was basically done.

Financially he had a lot of “help.” According to public documents - Rudy Kurniawan’s Post Sale Reports from Acker Merrall & Condit sales, The Cellar and The Cellar II (RK PSA 061 & RK PSA 069) there were millions in “loans” - written as “loans” and they all seem to have interest, that went through acker to Rudy from "friends of Acker.

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.

Does anyone have a list of wine that Rudy was faking?

Hi Maureen,

Where in Calgary is the film playing on November 1st and 2nd? I can’t seem to find the venue.

Yes- and copies of all the evidence sized fropm his home, and used in court.
We are also going through producer by producer and pointing out all his tells, what he got wrong… Its tedious, but I am working through. Jayer should be up next week. It’s all on

As soon as I know where in Calgary - I’ll let you know!
it will open to the public on Nov 2nd.
Its a Documentary Film Festival.

For obvious reasons all the “recipes” can’t be exposed, if they are even known, but I find that part fascinating.

Thank you for posting this Maureen. I just bought tickets for DC. My wife and I are excited to see the film and look forward to the opportunity to meet you.

Ms Maureen,

Should collectors be concerned about sites like this:

I see this label archive as a fun thing but, when the project was initially mentioned here, it was pointed out that such a resource could be useful for counterfeiting.

Maureen, do you know anything about the film’s future US distribution? Will it be available on Netflix?

I’m kinda just wondering but we’re his fakes good, taste wise. Did he somehow know what a 1950 xxxx should look smell and taste like.

My second question would be, if so, why bother with the original $5000 bottle if you can pour yourself a good imitation. Or maybe, is there a market for imitation 1950 xxxxx

Joe, the larger issue (in my limited understanding) is whether buyers know what a 1950 xxxx should taste like. :wink:


Good movie, interesting Q&A with Maureen after, but nothing new for those of us who followed the Rudy K thread that Don authored. My wife, who knew very little of the story, really enjoyed it. Maureen and Don were prominently featured.

Wanted to say hi to Maureen after but she was surrounded by interested viewers after.

Netfiix US release will be around 11/18/2016 IIRC

David- I wish you would have said hi!!

The Netflix release is Nov 19th in the USA.

Drew- you hit the nail on the head. Most people do not know what these wines “should” taste like, and now we have so many reviews out there based on fakes from prominent and self proclaimed critics, that the waters are completely muddied. In many cases the “standards” or flavor expectations are based on counterfeits. The damage that has been done is significant, and really tragic when you take in the scope of the history that’s been destroyed.


Would enjoy opportunity to listen to the lecture.

Great post