It is most popularly used to make dry white wines. Often Passerina grape is confused with Terbbiano Toscano or Bombino Bianco variety.
It is known by a number of names in other regions like Campolese, UvaPassera, Pagadebit, Trebbiano di Teramoand many more names. It is hard to find any plantation of Passerina outside Italy.
Varietals of the grape are also found and are said to have a unique taste. The acidity of wine made from Passerina grape is very high and is therefore liked by majority of wine tasters.
Wines made from Passerina grape demand an alcohol content of about 11.50%. For good quality the yield must not be more than 14 tonnes/ha. The grape takes about 10-11 months to complete the process of fermentation followed by aging to finally show its unique and original taste.
The production is about 4000 vines per hectare and the yield is about 2.7 tonnes per hectare. The grapes are hand plucked towards the end of September and are gently pressed to extract the juice.
It is then fermented at about 18 to 20ºC. It is kept for aging for minimum 3 months after being bottled. Annually, around 6000 bottles of wine made from Passerina grape are being made and sold out in the market.
Origin of Passerina
Passerina grape is given this name after the sparrow known as Passero in Italian, a bird who has a large appetite for Passerina ripened grapes.
Suffix ina signifies the small size of the berries. The exact reference to when the grape was first mentioned is not yet confirmed. Since the time is known it has been found in Italy and nowhere else.
Its production started to reach other areas of Italy, like Lazio, Emilia-Romogna and Abruzzo but has not moved very far. No documentation or other proof has been found which can reflect so as to when the grape was first mentioned.
The less popularity of the grape has led to lack of knowledge. It is almost unknown outside Italy. Also, only a few experiments are being done on the grape to modify and use its taste to make other wines with supreme taste.
Features of Passerina
Passerina grows in medium to large bunches of berries, while the berries are small sized. They are deep golden skinned. The flavours of the wine made from the grape may vary from citrusy to durain fruit and even pine.
It is a mid to late ripening grape variety. Vines have pentagonal, mid-sized leaves. The buds of the grape appear early making it prone to spring frost.
The berries have a large content of natural sugar in them. The wines made have a light straw colour. They have a nutty and floral aroma. They even show tones of citrus.
The wine has high alcohol as well as acidity level and can therefore be taken with any food item. Many people travel to this area to specially taste the dry wine made from Passerina grape.
Spaghetti can be taken with this wine. It is also possible to consume the wine without taking any other food item.
The flavours are not so high that you will need to neutralise it. The grape has been in the records of grapes for many years and is still being planted in a number of areas in Italy, proving that the grape has its own role in the art of wine making.
The quality of dry wines made from this grape is very high and should therefore be at least tasted once in a lifetime. The wine is rarely available on the internet to be ordered if you do see chances of visiting the area.
Editor-in-Chief and 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 🙂