Coda di Volpe grapes
Coda di Volpe is a white wine grape variety grown in the Naples and Campanian region of Italy.
It is often mixed up with another Italian white wine grape- Emilia that shows similar characteristics as Coda di Volpe.
For several years, the Italian grape variety Caprettone was believed to be a replica of the Coda di Volpe but in the early 21st century, the DNA analysis showed that there were many differences between the two varieties.
Even though, it shares the same name Pallagrello with the varieties of Campania Pallagrello Nero and Pallagrello Bianco, there is no certain genetic connection between the 3 grape varieties.
It is believed that this grape variety was used in the production of Falernian wine in Ancient Rome. Falernian wine was among the finest wines, costing up to four times as much as normal wines and was adored by Caesars alike and the poets.
Most possibly, it was made from the grapes of the late harvest, as it has very high alcohol content- 15%.
Origin and History
Since the 1970’s, Coda di Volpe has experienced revival and is now utilized to produce varietal wines under many DOCs of Campania such as Sannio and Irpinia.
It is also used as a blending element in DOCs like Vesuvio and Solapaca. The former produces wines from the lower hills of Mount Vesuvius and produces the popular Lacryma Christi wines.
Lacryma Christi means: “Tears of Christ”. This name was derived from a tale of biblical history. According to the tale, God cried after the downfall of Lucifer from Heaven, and grapes where cultivated where his tears dropped, and the grapes were named as Lacryma Christi.
Italy is popular for its numerous varieties of grapes and synonyms. And Coda di volpe has obtained many names over the decades.
Other names given to its vine are Falerno, Coda di Pecora and Durante. Coda di Pecora literally means “tail of the sheep” because of the tail-like bunches of grapes.
The Coda di Volpe grape is known under several synonyms such as Cianca rossa, Crapettone, Coda di Vulpi, Durante, Coda di Pecora, Alopecis, Coada Vulpi, Falerno, Coda di Volpe de Maddaloni, Lisica Opasca Bjelaja, Coda di Vulpe Durante, Pallagrello, Guarnaccia Bianca, Pallegrello Bianca and Lisitcha Opachka Biala.
Characteristics of Coda di Volpe Grape
The name Coda di Volpe translates to “tail of the fox”, and was given because of the pendulous, long bunches of grapes of the variety resembling the bushy tail of a fox.
The grapes are medium to full bodied, spicy (cinnamon and nutmeg) and fruity (peach, citrus, pineapple) on the nose with a tough of lemon, almond and grapefruit. The grapes of this variety have a golden-yellow color, same as the color of the wine.
The aromatic profile of the grape shows a fruity and spicy flavor. It is not typically high in acidity, which makes it survive in the volcanic soils of Vesuvius. The volcanic soil mostly gives extreme acidity to the grapes cultivated in them.
Coda di Volpe is an early to middle ripening grape that is generally harvested in mid-to-late September in the Campanian region. The grape is famous for its ability to regulate normal acidity levels also in the hot climate of South Italy.
The grapes are hand-picked and slightly pressed before undergoing fermentation in stainless steel. The ageing of wine is carried out in steel on the lees for 3 months.
Characteristics of Grape Wine
The grape wine produced from Coda di Volpe has a bright yellow color with an intense fruity flavor.
The wine has the typical shape of a large bunch of small grapes.
Notes of quinces and citruses impart a fresh and soft consistency on the taste bud. The wine was on the minimal side of acidity on the palate.
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