Italian Pinot Grigio, the staple of wine lists across the UK, is to have its own DO inside the next few months, with 2017’s wines the first to carry the Denominazione di Origine Pinot Grigio della Venezia.
The move, which has been broadly welcomed by the trade, is a response to what one importer darkly described as ‘too much dodgy stuff’ being sold in the UK.
‘It’s a chance to tighten up controls and ensure that some of the more questionable wines don’t get made,’ said Liberty Wines’ David Gleave MW.
The move could have an impact on volumes – not least because it comes on the back of a frost-affected spring that is likely to see overall production heavily reduced. Treviso, where much of the Veneto’s Pinot Grigio is planted, has been the worst-hit, with some putting the frost damage at 20-30%.
Cheap wines, in particular, which are more price sensitive, are likely to be most affected.
‘If we have good enough wines, we’ve found we can sell them at higher prices,’ says Gleave. ‘That’s going to be the key. Some wines have greater price elasticity than others.’
‘The UK is very prosecco-driven,’ said Leo Addis from the Sommelier Wine Awards’ Italian Merchant of the Year, Eurowines. ‘But I’m not sure for how much longer.’