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Wines with Vermentino grapes

by | Sep 14, 2016

Vermentino is a popular white grape variety coming mainly from the island regions of Italy.

This grape is also known as the Rollo grape!

Wines with Vermentino grapes

It is also to a considerable extent on some French regions as well and its islands too, as also Spain, since Vermentino’s origins and its subsequent cultivation has always been existed around the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, the southernmost province of France, bordering Spain and close to Italy and is known through different synonyms.

Vermentino, because of its appreciated qualities, is used to produce both sweet and sparkling variants. The grape is preferably grown in regions that are facing the sea so to get additional light reflected from the water, as that benefits the vine structure and grape quality.

Wine grape varieties

Some of the most famous wines made from Vermentino include such like the Vermentino di Gallura, produced in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

Here, the grape has its most likely origin, where in the Gallura region, its origins are said to go back to at least the 14th century.

The grape is widely cultivated elsewhere in the island and is known as Arratelau, its Sardinian synonym.

Origins of Vermentino

A lot of Italian varieties share the same fate when it comes to missing historical origins. Vermentino’s origins share that same fate.

Although most suggest that the grape came from Gallura and spread in a circular motion in the middle ages, quite a lot of others suggest different theories.

One theory states that it came from Spain where it was grown in the Catalonian parts while a third version tells us that it could have arrived in the Mediterranean via Greece from the Middle East.

This, however, clashes with several of the DNA research that has been conducted yet, which points out those Vermentino shares genetic similarities with the Pigato grape of Liguria and Favorita of Piedmont.

It is, however, unclear if the grape is identical to the Rollo grape grown in Provence, France. Both varieties, including Vermentino go with the synonym ‘Rolle’.

Wine regions

Vermentino is predominantly grown in Italy alone, with its island province of Sardinia producing more than half of the grape harvest.

Nearly 22,000 acres of vineyards grow Vermentino, with close to 60% of the grape coming from Sardinia alone and other regions of Italy, including Tuscany, Liguria and Umbria are being its supportive provinces.

In France, Vermentino is primarily grown in regions of Provence, Corsica and southernmost province of mainland France – Languedoc-Roussillon.

Around just more than a quarter of Vermentino produce come from France, making Italy and its neighbouring country the largest producers of this grape.

Other regions of Vermentino include Argentina, Australia and Lebanon as well, although theirs is very minuscule.

Only about 2% of Vermentino are produced in the US as well with experimental plantations reported in California, Lodi and Sierra Foothills.

Vermentino’s characteristics

Dominant flavours upon ripening of the grape include that of lime, grapefruit, green apples, almonds and a hint of sweetened daffodils.

Aromatically rich, a typical Sardinian Vermentino wine will give off aromas of pear, peaches, lime and pink grapefruits with minor notes of citrus.

On the palate, expect flavours that are always dry and possessing heavy notes of citrus and grapefruits with some saltiness and mineral to it.

These traits thus make Vermentino wines not purely fruity and not purely acidic as well. Most wines come with medium alcohol with higher tendencies towards acids.

On the finishing side, these grapes give you a hint of bitterness similar to grapefruit juice, or if it’s riper, a hint of fresh almond.

On the colour’s scale, Vermentino comes midpoint between Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, with a bit of a higher tendency towards the latter’s grape darker yellow shade.

Vermentino is thus similar to lemon yellow. Grapes with similar taste and body profiles include Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, GrunerVeltliner and Verdejo, with the first being its closest friend.

Types of wines

If anybody comes across an inventory of Vermentino wines, the first thing to notice is that there are two types of Vermentino wines.

One is creamier and richer while the other is more towards floral, citric and lighter side.

This arises out of the different fermentation processes that include a bacterium to give off a creamier feel to the wine.

Food pairing

Pair this up with a Ricotta cheese, a Pecorino or Feta. If whole meals are your preference, go with a Calzone, or a ricotta ravioli, Sun chokes and Tabbouleh salad. The list keeps going on.

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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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