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Forastera grapes

by | Dec 29, 2016

Forestera is one famous white wine grape variety that owes its existence to Italy.


This grape variety is mainly grown in the regions of the islands of Procida and Ischia off the very coast of Naples in Campania.

Interestingly, the experts and various ampelographers also confirmed the presence of a Spanish grape variety of wine with the very same name after carrying out a DNA analysis on that particular grape variety.

The latter grape variety is grown in the region of the Canary Islands and is an entirely different grape variety when we compare it to the former.

There is no close genetic relationship of the Spanish Forastera to the Italian Forastera. The major plantation and cultivation of Forastera is found in the Campania region of southern Italy.

This grape variety is taken into use for the preparation of both, varietal as well as blended wines and therefore it is very famous among the locals there.

Among the locals, the craze of this white wine grape variety is equally very widespread globally as well. The wines prepared out of this white wine grape variety are very tasteful and flavoursome.

At the same time, these wines contribute in the aromas of various stone fruits such as apricot, stone fruit and peach along with herby marquis.

The varietal Forastera wines on the other hand are very fresh and light and they are best drunk in their younger state.

The major breeding grounds where the plantation and cultivation of this white wine grape variety is done in abundance are Procida and Ischia.

Wine grape varieties

Ischia DOC also permits for the varietal Forastera wines under the title of Ischia Forastera. The grape of Forastera is also blended with another grape variety of Biancolella which is one of the famous grape varieties grown in the region of Ischia.

Forastera is also cultivated on the Italian island of Sardinia. However, the plantation of this grape in Sardinia is not very widespread.

This white wine grape variety entertains an early to mid-ripening and is also noted for being very vigorous in nature. This grape variety is also very vigorous as well as prone to producing huge canopies which may need to be taken care by proper pruning as well as canopy management techniques.

In the year 2000, there were 102 hectares of Forastera to be found in Italy. It was exclusively in its major region of plantation namely Procida and Ischia.

This grape is mainly found in the Denominazione di originecontrollata wines of Ischia where it is mostly mixed with a number of grape varieties such as San Lunardo, Arilla as well as Biancolella.

This variety of white wine grape is addressed under a number of synonyms such as Forasterablanca, Ferestiera, Forasteira, Forestiero, Furastera, Uvadell’Isola, Fusrastiera and many others.

Origin of the Forastera grape

According to a number of experts and ampelographers, this variety of white wine grape was derived from the Italian word called Forestiero, which means foreign and therefore it could be an indication that this grape has not been originated in the region of Campanian islands.

The very first record of the origin of this grape variety states that this grape was found on the island of Ischia in the year 1877 as per the writings of Giuseppe Rovasena in the Conti di Rovasedna.

Later, in the 19th century, another ampelographer Giuseppe Froio also mentioned the origin of this grape variety in the region of Ischia.

In the year 1877, it was also noted to be cultivated in the region of the province of Bergamo in Lombardy around the town called Grumellodel Monte. The cultivation of this grape in this region, however, soon met extinction.

Wines with Forastera grapes


All the wines produced out of this white wine grape variety are characterized as very tasteful in nature.

The varietal wines produced out of Forastera are very light-bodied and easy to drink.

They exhibit all their qualities when sipped in a younger state.

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These wines also exhibit the fragrances and flavours similar to apricot, peaches as well as stone fruit. Overall, these wines are very tasteful with a sparkling style and fruity flavours.

Food pairing

The best foods that are to be served with the wines produced out of this grape variety are linguine with calms and herbs, Zuppo Di Polp and various vegetable salads.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

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 🙂

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