RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has denied he is planting a personal vineyard at a luxury mansion in Benahavis.
Olive Press sources insist that the Russian gourmet, 62, has dug 25 plants from Spain’s top bodega Pingus into a series of terraces around the mansion
However, his spokesman at the Kremlin hit back at the reports after it was published in the Daily Mail newspaper too.
“It’s an unoriginal joke,” Dmitry Peskov told Echo of Moscow radio station. “This doesn’t correspond to reality.”
Meanwhile Danish Oenologist and Pingus founder Peter Sisseck has refuted claims he is overseeing the sale of 25 vines to the Costa del Sol property.
“If this had been the 1 April I would have said that it was funny, but it is not. It’s the first I have heard of it,” Sisseck told The Drinks Business magazine.
“Anyone who has any idea about wine will know that it’s not just a matter of taking an old vine, digging it up and taking it somewhere else and it will produce a good wine. You need to preserve the root and it also has to be planted in a fantastic place.
He added: “This is supposedly in a completely different area. I have never been in contact with Mr Putin or any of his entourage and I have certainly not sold any vines to southern Spain.”
Putin declared an income of just over $100,000 last year and, under property, just a 77-square-metre flat.
However he is regularly reported to have luxury property, particularly in Spain, and a massive hidden fortune, claims his government denies.