Varieties – Alphabetical
The most recent official Italian survey of vineyards, performed in 2010, lists about 440 different grape varieties growing in Italy. But new varieties continue to be recognized, and as of mid-2019, the national registry of grape varieties cataloged more than 560 winegrapes. A lot of these are not grown in great quantity, but the diversity of grapes in nevertheless astonishing. Below is an alphabetical list of most of the significant varieties, including all varieties with more than 400 hectares (1,000 acres) planted or that feature in a DOP wine.
- Malvasia Bianca di Candia: Most-planted Malvasia. Light bodied; high in acidity. Aromas & flavors: White flowers, citrus, green or yellow apple, herbs.
- Malvasia Bianca Lunga: Primary ingredient (with or without Trebbiano Toscano) in vin santo. Low acidity.
- Malvasia del Lazio: Aka Malvasia Puntinata; a crossing of Zibibbo and Schiava Grossa. Highest-quality Malvasia. Aromas & flavors: Yellow fruit (peach, mango, banana, passionfruit), sage. Best DOP: Frascati DOC/G.
- Malvasia di Candia Aromatica: High-quality variety, especially for sweet wines. Aromas & flavors: Aromatic; tropical fruit and spice. Best DOPs: Colli di Parma DOC, Colli Piacentini DOC.
- Malvasia di Lipari: Genetically same as Calabria’s Greco Bianco. Primarily used for passito wines. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, honey, orange. Best DOP: Malvasia delle Lipari DOC.
- Malvasia Istriana: Often used for “orange wines.” Minerally. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, pear, wisteria, (with age) diesel. Best DOPs: Carso DOC, Collio DOC, Friuli Isonzo DOC.