Pinot Grigio fakes flood on to market

Fake Pinot Grigio could account for as much as 30 per cent of wines in the retail sector, according to

Trading Standards' estimates.

Shops in the West Country have recently faced inspections of their Italian range and suppliers agree that Pinot Grigio's surging popularity in recent years has made it a target for fraudsters.

It is widely believed that some cheaper Italian Pinot Grigio is cut with less commercially successful varieties, and that some of the wine does not originate from Italy at all.

One supplier told OLN: "There is more Pinot Grigio in the market than there is produced, so something is a bit screwy somewhere. Where it's coming from and who's involved, we really don't know. In the Veneto there's a lot of wine around that may not be what it says it is.

"Why this message isn't filtering through to consumers is hard to say."

Enotria marketing manager Damian Carrington said retailers should only buy from well-known sources. "If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is," he said. "I'm sure the vast majority of suppliers and wholesalers are

as scrupulous as we are."

John Corbet-Milward, head of technical and international affairs at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said enforcement agencies should not treat fake Pinot Grigio as a minor issue. "The principle of the labelling regulation is that what's on the label has to reflect what's in the bottle," he said. "The law enforcement people would certainly not turn a blind eye.

"There have been wine scams for a long time and occasionally people get taken to court and put out of business."