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Montonico Bianco grapes

by Jan 19, 20170 comments

Montonico Bianco is a famous variety of white wine grape that hails from Italy. To be more particularly, this grape variety is found in abundance in the Calabria region of the southern Italy.

Montonico Bianco

This grape variety was once considered to be one of the most flourished grape varieties of the Italian region of Calabria. However, with time the plantation and cultivation of this white wine grape variety has slowly become very less.

The numbers of the vines of this grape variety are slowly declining in the world. By the end of the 20th century, the vines of this white wine grape variety are seen planted only in 1100 hectares/2700 acres.

The recent DNA profiling of Montonico Bianco grape variety has revealed a fact that this grape variety entertains the famous Garganega as one of its parents.

It has not been established if this grape variety is related to the red Calabrian wine grape called, Gaglioppo which is also known as Montonico Nero or Mantonico.

Montonico Bianco grape variety is a permitted grape variety in various Denominazione di origine controllata wines that includes the famous Bivongi DOC that is located on the very slopes of the Mount Consolino.

Wine grape varieties

In this particular DOC, Montonico Bianco makes up up to 20-50 percent of the total blend along with Guardavalle and Greco Bianco with the Malvasia Blanca and Ansonica allowed to make up an additional 30-50 percent in this entire DOC.

Apart from this, in the Pollino DOC of the southern Calabria, a particular content of the grapes of this variety is also taken into the use along with the Malvasia Blanca as well as Guaranaccia Bianca.

It clearly indicates the participation of this white wine grape variety in a number of DOCs of the world.  Today, the plantation and cultivation of this white wine grape variety have become very diminishing in nature.

This grape is now grown in very little amounts in the regions of Calabria. In this particular region, the largest production of this white wine grape variety is carried out in the wine region of Librandi that is solely protecting the vines of this grape variety from a sudden extinction.

Origin of Montonico Bianco grapes

The origin of this white wine grape variety is still not known to the world. It is described in the security bulletin ampelographic of the year 1875 and is also remembered by the Rovasenda in the year 1877.

In the regions of Sannino, this grape variety was considered as one of the most important grape varieties, similarly to that in the province of Teramo.

Once very flourished, today the vines of this grape are losing their existence in its very native place. The fact that this white wine grape variety has been originated somewhere in the regions of Italy remains unperturbed.

Characteristics of Montonico Bianco wines

The leaves of the vines of this white wine grape variety are medium-large as to their shape.

These leaves are orbicular or pentagonal. The clusters of the grapes of this variety are five-lobed and they look very dense as to their appearances.

The whole cluster appears to be very cylindrical or elongated; also sometimes it is seen to be bifurcated. The size of the berries of this grape is semi-tight or tight, medium or medium-large berries.

The skin of these berries is nodular, waxy, thick and very consistent. This skin usually appears to be yellowish brown to the eyes. The vines of Montonico Bianco mostly prefer dry and hilly terrains that are well-exposed.

These vines are very much suitable for the farming systems that are expanded with a medium-long pruning. These vines resist well in the cold weather and they are also able to tolerate the downy as well as powdery mildew.

In the years of the rainfall, the clusters of this grape are very much prone to rot. This white wine grape variety is excessively used in the production of both dry as well as Passito dessert wines in which these grapes are semi-dried before their process of fermentation to concentrate the levels of sugar.

As a dry wine, the grapes are suitable for barrel maturation. These wines are mostly very tasteful and they sustain all the levels of acidity and sugars.

Food pairing with Montonico Bianco wines

All the wines produced out of this white wine grape variety are paired best with mushroom soup, zabaglione/Italian Custard as well as smoked blinis.

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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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