Maureen Downey

Maureen Downey will be speaking at the session Fraud and fiction: battling counterfeit and traceability

Maureen Downey

Dubbed ‘The Sherlock Holmes of Wines’, Maureen Downey, is an independent expert on fine and rare wine and wine collection management, and is one of the foremost global authority on wine fraud, counterfeit wine and fine wine authentication.

Over the last two decades, Ms. Downey has personally inspected hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of authentic and counterfeit wine. She advises some of the world’s top collectors in purchasing, selling, and managing their collections with her firm, Chai Consulting, founded in 2005. She assisted the government prosecution in the first and only wine counterfeiting case tried by the U.S. government, and continues to work with law enforcement to investigate wine fraud cases.

In 2015, she launched to help assist both the wine trade and collectors become educated about the realities of wine fraud and counterfeiting in global markets, as well as how to authenticate fine wines. It now has over 24,000 images of both authentic and counterfeit bottles, labels, ink, corks and capsules to aid members in authentication.

In November 2016, Maureen and Everledger launched the Chai Wine Vault, a solution for securing the authenticity and provenance of fine wine. Everledger is a trusted, global ledger in the diamond industry with 1,000,000 stones currently secured on the blockchain. Everledger has extended the platform’s technology to create the Chai Wine Vault, a digital vault to help combat the problem of counterfeit bottles with a digital record of provenance and a guarantee of authenticity stored in the immutable blockchain. 

Ms. Downey can currently be seen in the Netflix film, Sour Grapes.