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Silver lining
Food and drink opinion

Silver lining

A crime story was revealed last week that showed the wine trade is not immune from the occasional outrage

AJ Linn

Malaga

Friday, 16 February 2024, 15:37

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Unlike many other trades and professions, there are very few scandalous goings-on in the wine trade and if anyone searches the web for such material, it is notable for its absence. Until now. A crime story was revealed last week that showed the trade is not immune from the occasional outrage.

The founder of craft whisky distillery Bimber, Lucasz Ratajewski, has been arrested in London on charges of conspiracy to murder. Ratajewski, a Polish national, established Bimber in 2015, hoping to benefit from the revival of English single malt whisky production in London after over a century. Allegedly fleeing Poland two decades ago following a conviction for possession of a handgun, he began a new life in London.

WINE OF THE WEEK

WINE OF THE WEEK
  • Viñas del Vero Gewurztraminer 2022

  • The Viñas del Vero bodega, in the Somontano región, is owned by Gonzalez Byass, and produces several very good white wines This one has a light yellow tone and is perfect as an aperitif. Around €13

A Polish extradition request got Ratajewski arrested and despite a bail application, the court denied release. Defence counsel argued Ratajewski's ties to the community, family, and business, emphasising his integral role in both personal and professional spheres. The prosecution contended that his use of a false identity for over two decades demonstrated a clear flight risk, and the judge ultimately rejected the bail application, citing the seriousness of the charges and Ratajewski's background.

Every cloud has its silver lining. Bimber Distillery thrived under Ratajewski's leadership, expanding to produce 50,000 bottles annually for the global market. His Scottish venture, Dunphail Distillery, commenced production in 2023, with plans to scale up to 200,000 bottles per year.

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