Trebbiano is one of the world”s most widely grown white wine grape varieties, with an ancient history. The grape is thought to originate from the East Mediterranean, and was known by the Romans. It was known in the 13th century in Bologna and was reportedly mentioned by Cervantes.
Yet, despite this venerable lineage, this common grape is often criticized and overlooked. It may be a case of familiarity breeding contempt or it may simply be that the wines made from the Trebbiano grape just don”t stack up against other varieties – at least as far as the critics are concerned.
Trebbiano Based Wines
Trebbiano is estimated to produce more wine than any other grape in the world, even though there are other varieties that are planted on a greater acreage. It originates from central Italy and spread to France and around the world. In France, the grape is known, among other things, as Saint Emilion and Ugni Blanc, but there are dozens of other names for this common white wine grape, including Thalia in Bulgaria and Portugal and White Hermitage in Australia.
In Italy, most wines contain some Trebbiano, including several reds. Brands include Trebbiano Druif, Vigna Corvina Trebbiano, Trebbiano della Toscana and Trebbiano de Lugana. Around the world, Trebbiano is blended into chianti and some of the world”s finest brandies, such as Cognac or Armagnac. Frascati, which originates from Lazio in Italy, also uses the Trebbiano grape.
Growing Trebbiano Grapes
The Trebbiano grape grows best on sun-drenched hills with hot days and cool nights. It produces a pale wine that”s high in acidity, with a medium alcoholic content. The wine is generally dry and crisp, but with a fresh and fruity flavor and a bitter almond note at the end. Most Trebbiano wines are meant for immediate drinking, as they do not last long. There are some exceptions. The Valentini vineyard in Abruzzo has successfully produced great wines from Trebbiano dating back to the 1970s.
The white wines produced by the Trebbiano grape are generally table wines intended for quick consumption. They go particularly well with seafood and pasta dishes. Many vintners have begun to increase the sweetness of Trebbiano based wines, though critics believe that this spoils the crisp flavor that is their trademark.