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Wine Producers Adopt Bubble Tag Technology

Prooftag Prevents Wine and Spirits Counterfeiting

July 25, 2011

Prooftag's Bubble Tag technology is helping producers and consumers to detect and prevent wine counterfeiting

Next time you buy some Chateau Montelena wine, be sure to check the seal on the bottle's neck in order to verify that the bottle has not been tampered with. Wines can be counterfeited in many ways, such as by using fake labels or the refilling of authentic bottles. Prooftag's Bubble Tag technology is helping producers and consumers to detect and prevent wine counterfeiting. Each Bubble Tag, which is a random and unique pattern of bubbles within the seal on a wine bottle, is photographed and assigned an identification number, which is then stored in a database. The bubbles in the seal can be authenticated by typing the identification number into a mobile phone application and compared visually with the photograph in the database. Alternatively, the seal can be scanned using an optic reader.

Pillitteri Estates Winery, the world's largest estate producer of Icewine, is the latest winery to adopt Prooftag's authentication system. Counterfeiting is particularly problematic for producers of Icewine, as it is now one of the most counterfeited wines in the world. Montauban, France-based Prooftag has attracted more than 30 French and foreign wine producers, including Chateau Margaux, Bilton Wines of South Africa and Chateau Montelena in Napa, as clients since its founding in 2004. Prooftag's patented Bubble Tag technology was accidentally discovered in 1999. While processing an adhesive, electronic research firm Novatec found that spontaneous bubbles formed within the polymer. Initial observation proved that these bubbles align in a unique and random signature, acting like a fingerprint that is impossible to replicate. The technology has been applied in many ways, from product seals to document security.

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