Verdea is a type of grape used for making wines, which was predominantly grown in the Tuscany region of Italy.
As time passed, the Lombardy region in the northern part of Italy took over its harvest. Many a times, this variety of grape is confused with two popular types of grapes called the Verdeca (grown in the Apulia region) and Verdesse (grown in the Savoy region of France) because of its similarities.
Verdea is used for various types of wines that range from dry sparkling to late harvested Vin Santo.
They are predominantly used for making the sweet wine which is legendarily known as Emilia-Romagna’s Colli Piacentini, found near the Milan and Piacenza region.
As mentioned above, this Italian variant is confused with the French white grape Verdesse as it is popularly called Verdea in many regions.
There are many other names that are used instead of Verdea in different countries and places.
It is referred as Colombana Bianca or Colombana di Peccioli in Tuscany. Other names include Verdicchio Giallo, Vardea, San Colombano Paradiso d’Italia, Verdea di Montalto and many more.
The DNA analysis in the year 2007 showed that colour mutation of a type of red wine grape called Sangiovese Forte may have resulted in creating Verdea.
This finding contradicted the DNA profiling of the year 2005 which said that the Sangiovese Forte resulted from the popular Tuscan grape called Sangiovese.
Verdea had also been mentioned among the various other grape varieties in the Pietro de’ Crescenzi’s historic account of viticulture (1303) in Italy.
In the year 2000, about 380 acres (152 hectares) of the Verdea grape variety was grown in large quantities in the Lombardy region.
Specifically, it was grown in a village called San Colombano al Lambro located in the Milan province.
Other than the Lombardy region, it is grown in the Pisa province of Tuscany and Piacenza located in Emilia-Romagna area.
Currently, the use of Verdea is common for blending purposes in many Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) zones which also includes the area in Lombardy called Colline del Milanese.
The berries that grow in the vines are medium-sized, usually in conical shaped bunches. The vines are short, but quite resistant to diseases or rot.
Despite of the resistance, they are likely to lack immunity against drought. This explains the fact that water is very important for its growth and nourishment.
It is a fact that Verdea can serve a variety of tastes because of its versatile nature. The variance of tastes can range from dry and sparkling wine to late-harvest, sweet and Passito type dessert wines (which includes the famous Vin Santo wines).
The Passito style ensures that the grapes are dried to enhance the flavours. Honey and raisin are commonly used in the Passito type desserts.
Apart from being commonly used for blending along with other wine ingredients, the grape can vary from dry as well as sweet tastes.
The sweet wines are mostly of a single variety. When blending with other grapes, it can be pooled with local favourites like Malvasia Bianca and Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc) to have a final product which is fairly dry, clean and crisp.
The yield of these three varieties (namely dry, fresh and sweet) must be restricted to a certain limit to retain the flavour to the maximum.
These grapes were not picked until later when the Christmas began for rejoicing them at the best. Till then, they were kept on the vine to shrink.
As Verdea is a versatile wine ranging from sweet to dry, it will go well with a variety of dishes.
The dry, sparkling wine would be preferred with Arugula salad. A more recommended combination would be when balsamic and pecorino is added to the Arugula salad.
It is very important to know which food goes with the sweet version of Verdea, as taste is not something one should compromise with.
Contrary to the dry version, cookies or biscuits should be preferred to enhance the flavour of the sweet version.
Cantucci biscuits are a perfect go when it comes to rejoicing the essence of Verdea (sweet). It would also be a fair deal to go with Gorgonzola cheese while pairing with this particular white wine.
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