Centesimino is a very rarely known red grape variety found in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy. It is also known by the name Savignon Rosso in the region.
A very few producers use this grape variety for wine production and as a result only a few people are aware of the variety outside the Emilia region. The grape makes dessert wines.
It also maintains a good acidic level. The wines that are aged are said to develop a unique taste which is cherished by a number of people.
The grape variety has not reached outside Romagna region and only a certain listed vines are capable of cultivating the Centesimino grape variety. This variety has a long history and has experienced a lot of ups and downs in its growth.
Only people who have already tasted are familiar with the wine. Other type of customers for Centesimino grape wines are the ones who are attracted to it by its history of survival.
The grape needs to be promoted so as to let people all over the world know about the few varieties which were able to escape the horror of phylloxera.
Origin of Centesimino
Centesimino grape variety is said to be discovered in the 17th century. Somehow the production was dropped in the subsequent years and then in the 20th century, precisely in the 1960s; it was brought back to life from a single vineyard which was owned by Pietro Pianori, a grape producer from Oriolodei Fichi.
He noticed the vine growing in a little patch in a small garden in the town of Faenza, which was surrounded by high walls, which possibly prevented the vine from phylloxera which was responsible for the destruction of many vineyards in Italy.
He saved the vine and started cultivating it on a larger scale. This helped the variety to remain in the records of grape varieties of Italy.
If Pianori had not spotted and saved the variety back then, we would have listed Centesimino grape variety in the list of extinct grape varieties which were a part of the Italian winery before phylloxera hit the area! Centesimino grape has been growing in the area since then and gradually the variety has started re-gaining its reputation.
In the year 2004 Centesimino grape variety was added to Italy’s national register of grape varieties (Registro Nazionale delle Varietá di Vite).
Features of Centesimino
Wines made from Centesimino grapes are dark ruby red in colours. It gives aromas of rose, orange, anise and licorice. The wine mainly used due to its aroma.
The wines made can be consumed young as well as aged. Aging might add some special flavours to it. The grapes grow in long compact bunches.
The buds of the grape can be plucked in the late season as they maintain their acidity even after late harvest. The plucked buds are gently pressed to extract the juice out for it and are kept for fermentation for some time.
Oak fermentation can be done to give the grapes a better taste. Varietals of the wine cannot be found as the production of the grape is not so high. The grape is known to make good quality dessert wines.
It can also be enjoyed with sheep’s milk cheese and potato chips. Mushroom risotto is said to give a ravishing taste to the wine.
Salted dishes and sushi are among the dishes which can be enjoyed with Centesimino grape wine. Roasted vegetables with haloumi cheese are often taken with this wine.
Spaghetti can be taken with this wine. Centesimino grape wines are said to best with dark chocolates. It is also possible to consume the wine without in taking any other food item.
The alcohol content is also not so high that you will need to neutralise it. If you visit the Romagna area, you must look for wines of this grape and enjoy the flavour and aromas keeping in mind its struggle to be alive in the Italian grape market!
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂