Frost and new DO could hit Pinot Grigio supplies

Location: Italy

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.’

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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