Italian Indigenous Varieties: Grignolino from Piedmont

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This week’s grape variety is from Piedmont originally, Grignolino. The grape is used to make both red and rose wines. It is part of two D.O.C. denominations, Grignolino d’Asti and Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese. It produces wines that are light ruby in color but that can be quite tannic. They have good acidity and fresh floral and fruity notes. At times, the grape is blended with Barbera and/or Freisa.

Grignolino is a word from the local dialect version of the word for seeds, grignole. Grignolino grapes are filled with pips and therefore pressing is complicated because one must be very careful to avoid bitter notes in the wine.

Some Californian wineries have experimented with success with this grape variety.

Apparently, this is an event in Italy dedicated to the promotion of Grignolino d’Asti. A red grape from Piedmont that is neither Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, or Freisa has a hard time getting any attention. This event seems to be a start in that direction.

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