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Pignoletto grapes

by | Oct 8, 2016

Pignoletto White is a white Italian wine grape variety that has Greek origins. The grape has been planted throughout the central Italy.


In the Umbria region, it is used in the Denominazione di origine controllata/DOC as the wine Orvieto.

Used frequently as a blending grape, Pignoletto also produces some varietal wines. The berries of the grape have thick skin, which provides good resistance to downy mildew that might harm the grape during late harvest season. This makes Pignoletto an apt blending grape for producing Vin Santo.

Wine grape varieties

Grechetto or Grechetto Bianco are some of its synonyms. In Lazio, the grape is found in the Cervaro district where a family named Antinori has been actively promoting its blend of  Grechetto and Chardonnay that is known as Cevaco.

The thick skinned berries get harvested late with quite high sugar levels. They are then used in the production of dessert wines. The Pignoletto vine is low yielding and produces intense flavors.

The grape is chiefly used as a blending grape because of its property to add richness and structure to the wines. Usually, it is blended with Chardonnay, Verdello and Trebbiano. Pignoletto adds herbal and nutty flavors to the wine.


The presence of this vine in the district of Bologna has been there for quite some time. In the first century A.D., a philosopher named Pliny the Old had mentioned a wine by the name Pinum Laetum. The very first written account about it came from the sixteenth century.

The name of this grape Pignoletto probably is derived from the word pigna, whose literal meaning is pine cone in Italian.

Previously, when grape farming was carried on the hills, the Pignoletto vines are able to climb up the trees of Maple and Elm and grow on them.

The wine was prepared in the cellars of houses in cities. Hence between sixteen hundred and eighteen hundred, the Compagnia dei Brentatori have been mostly lively in carrying out transportation musts inside wooden containers that were called brente.

Until the 60’s, its production began to diminish when the vintners started to create and vend bottled wines instead.


The wine represents the lifestyle of Bolognese people and their affinity for an extravagant living.

The grape is also called the King of the Colli-Bolognese wine region.

Though, very few people hardly know about it. In Italy, it is grown on over an area of seventeen hundred acres.

Wines from the Emilia-Romagna section in Italy, except one called Lambrusco, are usually hard to find.  Several grape varieties are grown in this state.

The berries of the grape are very rich in tannins because of their thick skin. They are moved away faster from the skins to ignore much tannic extraction into the tasty wine.

The wine made is crisp, aromatic and tart in description.  The wine’s aroma profile is always determined by its harvest date and the methods employed in winemaking.

The most striking flavors that can be referenced are limes and green apples in both-still and sparkling wine. However, the Pignoletto grape contains more tannin than estimated for a white grape selection, which offers the wines with some texture.

Pignoletto’s connection with the Pignolo grape has a linguistic somewhat than genetic basis.  Pigna is the Italian word for pine cone, probably as a reference to the shape of its bunch.

The DNA analysis made several years ago proved Pignoletto to be genetically identical to Grechetto, a more famous variety found abundantly in Umbria.

Food Pairings

Being a desert wine, it is suitable with dishes that are sweet. Pasta and pizzas along with cakes taste very good with Pignoletto. Cheese cakes and dishes full of cheese are also a good option.


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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