Blossom Hill is bringing back its Californian Pinot Grigio, which outsold its leading white in 2005 and 2006 but was discontinued due to lack of supply.

Since new vineyards were planted four years ago, enough vines have matured to enable the Diageo brand to return a single varietal Californian Pinot Grigio (rsp: £5.99) to the mass market.

"We launched a Californian Pinot Grigio in 2005 and it was very successful," said Helen Fletcher, brands director at Percy Fox, which distributes Blossom Hill.

"At that time we couldn't get the supply and the amount we wanted, so we went into Italian Pinot Grigio instead and grew the value of the Italian-branded wine category by more than £1m."

Liz Ashdown, marketing manager for Blossom Hill, said there was an opportunity for a big brand to cash in on the popularity of Pinot Grigio.

"The UK consumer's love affair with Pinot Grigio has seen a surge in sales over the past 12 months, but it has yet to be seriously developed under the banner of a brand," said Ashdown. "We feel this is a variety with which our consumer has a very real affinity hence our significant investment."

Blossom Hill has upped its marketing spend behind the 'Welcome to Blossom Hill' campaign by £500,000, with phase two hitting screens this week.

Fletcher said demand from the trade had buoyed the relaunch. "We've been asked by buyers to come up with things from within the heartland of Blossom Hill California. So this is about going back to our heartland."