Irate Italians have accused a mainland wine company of mislabelling Chinese-made wines, using the world-famous Valpolicella brand. According to a report in a specialist wine Web site, www.decanter.com , Italy's Valpolicella Consorzio has sent letters to the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and to export officials, condemning Gold Hope Winery. The Chinese company sells Gold Valpolicella, Yu-lin Valpolicella, Valpolicella dry red and Valpolicella dry white - all of which are produced on the mainland, according to the report. The general manager of Gold Hope said the firm had a licence from mainland authorities to use the name Valpolicella, which he said was a type of grape rather than a wine made only in Italy's northeastern Veneto region. 'Of course, two sides will have different explanations, but unless the state has a very good reason, we won't change the name of our products - we are protected under the law,' he said. The wines were made from grapes grown on the mainland, half of which were 'Chinese Valpolicella', and sold domestically, he said. But the managing director of Casamia Wines in Hong Kong, John Pesci, who specialises in Italian wines, said there was no Valpolicella grape variety. He said Valpolicella wine was made of a blend of Corvina Veronise, Rondinella and Molinara grapes. Mr Pesci said there was a lot of 'fake' wine in China, but usually French names were adopted. He said Valpolicella was one of the best-known Italian wine regions outside Chianti. Valpolicella reds were generally value-for-money wines sold globally, he said. Asked why a non-premium region name would be used, he said it was because of its wide recognition. 'They are copying Bossini [clothes] in China. Why? Because it's known,' he said. The quality of Chinese wines had been improving, but were generally rough and acidic, and did not compare with those grown in Italy in quality, he said. Well-known wine regions often take action to stop other makers using their names, such as Champagne in France which has insisted on 'sparkling wine' to describe bubbly made elsewhere.