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Australian Albariño mix up

Published:  16 April, 2009

The Australian wine industry is reeling from the announcement that many of their Albariño wines will have to be re-branded after DNA testing found that a number of varieties thought to be Albariño, were in fact the little known grape variety Savagnin Blanc (Traminer) which is almost exclusively grown in Jura Eastern France.

The authenticity was questioned late in 2008, when the Albariño's veracity in Australia was bought to the attention of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation.

Tests were carried out by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation CSIRO, in January using DNA profiling.

The study concluded that wines produced from vines sourced by that collection could not be labelled as Albariño.

Under the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980, it is an offence to internationally sell, export or import wine with a false description.

Figures have not yet been revealed about how many producers will be affected and what the implications may be, as the confusion is reportedly not confined to Australia.