SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

Kurniawan Prosecutors will not depose Ponsot, de Villaine, or Roumier

Leave a comment

In May, prosecutors in the Rudy Kurniawan case submitted a letter to the court requesting the  opportunity to depose a star-studded lineup of witnesses from Burgundy’s top estates:  Laurent Ponsot (Domaine Ponsot), Aubert de Villaine (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti),  and Christophe Roumier (Domaine Georges Roumier).  The Government stated that these witnesses would not be available to testify at the trial (scheduled to begin September 9) because of harvest, and that they wished to depose them to preserve their testimony for trial.  According to the letter, “all three witnesses will present highly relevant and necessary testimony that no other witness can offer about allegedly counterfeit bottles of wine discussed in the Superseding Indictment.”  On May 6, the Court granted the Government’s request.

Apparently, the prosecutors changed their mind.  According to the case docket, a June 4 letter sent by prosecutors to the court stated that “the Government will not be deposing the French winemakers that the Court authorized the parties to depose.”  It’s unclear whether this means that the Government now expects these witnesses to be available to testify at trial, or whether they plan on presenting their case without these witnesses’ testimony.  A copy of the letter was not available on ECF at the time I wrote this post.

A status conference in the case is scheduled for next Monday, July 8.

A copy of the May letter is available here:  SDNY Letter re Kurniawan Wine Fraud

UPDATE: JULY 6, 2013

On WineBerserkers, Don Cornwell writes that its his understanding that the three winemakers will not be deposed, but instead will testify at the trial itself now that the Burgundy harvest is expected to be late this year.  (Can someone please organize a mini La Paulée in NYC this September?).   As some of you know, Don has a lot of cred on all things related to this case.  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s