Italian Indigenous Varieties: Barsaglina, Becuet Nero and Bellone

Who ever heard of Barsaglina or Becuet Nero? I certainly hadn’t until I started doing my Italian indigenous grape dictionary posts. Barsaglina sounds like a candy, the kind that you might find on the counter in a pretty tin, but instead it is a grape variety from Tuscany which hails from the town of Massa Carrara. This red variety makes a nice wine with a deep ruby color and significant body. It can be found both in Tuscany and in Liguria in the D.O.C. of Colli di Luni, famous for its’ Vermentino. Barsaglina is quite vigorous and hardy and is capable of resisting numerous diseases.

Becuet Nero, on the other hand, is from Piedmont and is rarely vinified on its own. It is used to add color, body and structure to other wines, specifically those made with the Avana’ grape. This red grape variety ripens and matures early. It is also quite vigorous. This is a mountain variety and can be found in the Val di Susa.

Bellone is a much better known grape than these last two varieties. It hails from Lazio and can be found in a couple of well known D.O.C. wines such as Velletri Bianco and Marco Carpineti’s Collesanti. To learn more about this grape, check out this article I just wrote for Alta Cucina’s website.

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