The man behind the famed super Tuscan wine Oreno has been confined to his villa near Arezzo by Italian authorities, accused of taking part in money laundering, bank fraud and tax fraud schemes. The Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s financial crimes force, has placed Antonio Moretti, the owner of the Sette Ponti winery in Tuscany and the Feudo Maccari winery in Sicily, under house arrest, along with his son Andrea, as it investigates crimes related to Moretti’s clothing brands and its retail chain, according to Italian media reports.
The wineries have not been implicated in the alleged financial crimes, but the authorities have seized control of them for the time being, as well as Moretti’s other assets, worth a total of $28.9 million, according to authorities.
“The operation of the [wine] companies is not compromised. The [wines’] quality are 100 percent guaranteed,” Stefano Maggini, the wineries’ export manager, told Wine Spectator. “[The Morettis] are accused, but nothing is proven at the moment and [the charges] don’t involve the wine companies.”
Moretti, 67, became famous as a fashion footwear mogul, building the brand called Car Shoe and later partnering with Prada. In 1997, he launched Tenuta Sette Ponti and its flagship wine, Oreno, a blend of Cabernet and Merlot that has consistently earned outstanding ratings from Wine Spectator and twice earned Top 10 rankings in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year. In 1999, he began buying land in southwestern Sicily, establishing Feudo Maccari. He also owns Orma in Bolgheri.
According to Italian reports, more than a dozen executives for Moretti’s family companies have been implicated in financial schemes related to the clothing firms. A total of 14 companies and assets owned by the family have been seized by authorities. Several relatives, including son Alberto Moretti, a famous fashion designer, have not been arrested but are named in the investigation and are forbidden from managing public companies while the case is ongoing.
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