Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — A former Napa winemaker is facing fraud charges for allegedly mislabeling cheap wines as pricy cabernets.
Jeffry Hill was arrested Wednesday in Clovis and released. He’s been indicted in San Francisco on federal charges of mail and wire fraud that carry potential 20-year prison terms.
Hill’s phone number couldn’t be located. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Hill ran Hill Wine Co. of Napa, which went bankrupt two years ago.
Prosecutors contend that Hill sold wine made from grapes produced elsewhere as genuine Napa Valley products. He also allegedly sold wine made from cheaper varietals as Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, which can go for $100 a bottle.
Last year, Hill got a year in jail for stealing grapes from another vineyard for his own winery’s use.